Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Tracks and Horizons" 99 cent Kindle deal!

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Forty Four

Lost 0.8 lbs last week, which is great right before Thanksgiving.

But now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I'm not so sure about my next weigh in. We shall see on Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Forty

Dang, up 1.2. Trying to reach a total of 50 pounds lost is proving to be a bit more difficult than I thought. About 3 pounds away from that goal. And Halloween certainly won't help ;-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Thirty Nine

Broke even last week. And this week is looking dicey especially since my treadmill at home broke.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Thirty Eight

Down 2 pounds! Only 2.4 more to reach a total of 50 pounds lost! :-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Tracks and Horizons" paperback now available on Amazon!

Tracks and Horizons: 26 Countries on a Motorcycle

From 1964 to 1966, Carlos Caggiani travelled to 26 countries on a 1947 Indian Chief motorcycle with hardly a penny to his name. At 24 years of age, he embarked on the adventure of a lifetime.

He spent time with everyone from poor natives in the Andes mountains, to rich families in the United States. He crossed rivers without bridges, suffered famine, intense heat and cold, guided his motorcycle through rain and snow storms, rode on dirt and cobblestone roads, was chased by the FBI, was shot at in Bolivia during a revolutionary war, and had a serious accident due to a mechanical failure in Panama that left him hospitalized for 17 days.

The experiences in this book demonstrate a human being's tenacity and triumph in the face of adversity, and shows that anything is possible. There is always something more just beyond the horizon...and as the horizon expands, our limits disappear.

Order your copy today!

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Thirty Seven

Up 1.2 after the BBQ. I now have a new incentive...reach a total of 50 pounds lost by Thanksgiving. I'm about 5 pounds away from reaching that milestone so I need to just do it. Five pounds in nine weeks should be easy, right?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Thirty Six

Woo hoo! Down 2.4 pounds this week! Probably because I've been fighting a cold and my apetite has been slightly lower than normal. But still, I'll take it :-)

Of course Friday is our company picnic...Hawaiian BBQ. Gulp.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Thirty Five

Up 0.6 pounds last week. But I go in tonight for this week's weigh in and I think i did ok. We'll see!

Monday, September 06, 2010

"Tracks and Horizons" now available on Kindle!

The Kindle version of "Tracks and Horizons" is now available on! This is the true life story of my father's two-year motorcycle trip around the world in the early 1960's. Here's the description:

From 1964 to 1966, Carlos Caggiani travelled to 26 countries on a 1947 Indian Chief motorcycle with hardly a penny to his name. At 24 years of age, he embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. He spent time with everyone from poor natives in the Andes mountains, to rich families in the United States. He crossed rivers without bridges, suffered famine, intense heat and cold, guided his motorcycle through rain and snow storms, rode on dirt and cobblestone roads, was chased by the FBI, was shot at in Bolivia during a revolutionary war, and had a serious accident due to a mechanical failure in Panama that left him hospitalized for 17 days.

The experiences in this book demonstrate a human being's tenacity and triumph in the face of adversity, and shows that anything is possible. There is always something more just beyond the horizon...and as the horizon expands, so do the opportunities available to us.

Look for "Tracks and Horizons" to come out in paperback in the next few weeks!

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Thirty Four

Broke even...0 pounds lost. Hey, no gain though :-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Thirty Three

Down 0.4. Hey, at least it's down :-)

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Thirty Two

Down 1.4 pounds this week. Posting this late (my next weigh in is tonight) so I'll have more to post real soon :-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Thirty One

Up 3.4 pounds this week due to all the festivities last week :-)

And with chili night last night, things are looking iffy for my next weigh in. Need to get on the treadmill.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Thirty

Down 0.6 pounds last week :-)

But this past week has been...shall we say...challenging. A work offsite BBQ, and a boat trip that included drinking and donuts. Sigh. It was yummy and fun but I know I'll be paying for it at my weigh in tonight.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Twenty Nine

Well, up another 0.6lbs. Have to try to stop this trend...the chili cookoff at work didn't help, but at least I won second place! Ok...focus....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Twenty Seven and Twenty Eight

My brother and his family were in town last week so I skipped Jenny...and ate way too much. I did go today, however, and I was only up 0.6 lbs, which frankly surprises me. I was expecting a much higher gain. Hopefully it won't show up next week!

Anyway, back on track now.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Twenty Six

Woo hoo! Down 3.2 pounds this week! Now that's more like it! Total = 47.2 down :-)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Twenty Five

Bah. Up 1.6 pounds this week. Probably due to making pizzas, having some cake...and eating it too :-)

Time to buckle down again.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Twenty Four

Last week I was down 0.2 pounds. This week I was up 0.2 pounds. We'll call it a draw.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Review: Seidio Ultimate Screen Guard

I recently reviewed a Seidio Innocase II Surface case for the HTC Evo 4G Android smartphone and gave it a thumbs up. But the Innocase only protects the body of the phone. What about that beautiful 4.3" screen? Enter the Seidio Ultimate Screen Guard:

Now, I have to say, I am typically not a "screen protector" type of guy. I have tried a few of them in the past on other phones, and was never happy with the feel, or worse yet, the way it changed the look of my phone's screen. The only thing worse than using a phone with an orange peel screen is using one made by a different kind of fruit all together (see what I did there?)

So I didn't have very high hopes for yet another screen protector when I received Seidio's Ultimate Screen Guard. But the fact that it didn't require any liquids or other adhesives to stick to the screen got me curious, at least.

The back of the package lists several features for the Seidio Ultimate Screen Guard.

These are:
  • Made from quality, Japanese materials to resist scratches or tears [Ok, so far so good]
  • Only 0.1mm thin [Excellent]
  • Designed precisely for your device for a perfect fit [Yup]
  • Advanced material adheres to screen without glue or messy liquids [Bingo]
  • Anti-glare and anti-fingerprint finish (Anti-Glare Model Only) [Mine was not this model]
  • Enhanced clarity without reducing touch sensitivity [See below]
  • No orange peel and rainbow marks [See below]
  • Simple installation with included cleaning cloth and application card [See below]
Enhanced Clarity without reducing touch sensitivity
This screen protector is hard to see, which is a good thing. It is very thin, yet feels very durable. Does it enhance the clarity of my screen? Meh. Not really. It doesn't really make it LESS clear, either. But I can certainly vouch for no loss of touch sensitivity. It's as if the thing isn't even on your screen. It doesn't quite feel like the naked screen, but it's certainly better than any of the previous screen protectors I've tried. Less drag than a Zagg, for sure. Which is a good thing.

No orange peel and rainbow marks
Definitely no orange peel effect. Smooth as silk. A+ there. I do see some rainbow marks, however. Not permanently on the screen, mind you, but the fingerprints that do accumulate on the screen sometimes show a slight rainbow effect at certain angles. Wipe it off and it goes away, but they will come back. It's almost like the finger oils start to group on certain parts of the screen where you swipe. The screen protector I was sent was NOT the Anti-Glare/Anti-Fingerprint version, so perhaps that is not an issue with that model. And this is not really an "issue" since a good wipe clears it up, but it needs to be said.

Simple installation with included cleaning cloth and application card
Ok, first, I have to let it be known that I am notoriously bad at putting on screen protectors. Always have been. I inevitably get dust under them, bubbles, hair, whatever. Always. It's probably a skill that I simply lack, but installing the Seidio Ultimate Screen Guard was no different. Granted, I did not follow the directions exactly, which is obviously my problem, but I got tons of dust between it and the screen. I ended up having to wash the back of the screen protector a few times and let it air dry completely before trying again. But I finally did it successfully. I can't ding Seidio for this...the instructions are simple and should take no more than 5 minutes. This is all me.

What's comes with it?
The Seidio Ultimate Screen Guard comes in a little plastic envelope that includes the screen guard itself, an application card with instructions on it, and a microfiber cloth to clean your screen before applying the screen protector.

The screen protector is in its own protective bag and consists of a piece of plastic with the Evo screen shape cut into it.

You have to peel off the bottom and slowly roll it onto the screen while peeling it off the backing. This is the part I missed. I peeled the whole thing off at once then tried to apply it. Don't make that mistake.

Feel after some use
I've had this almost two weeks now and there are honestly times I forget it's on. Combined with the Innocase, it's almost imperceptible. My only gripe, and it's minor, is the little rainbowing I mentioned above.


  • Very thin
  • Little drag, feels natural
  • You can tell it protects the screen, so there's a feeling of comfort having it on.
  • Easily removable. Just use sticky tape on one corner to lift it off the screen and it comes right off, cleanly. Easy to reapply.
  • Slight rainbow effect from fingerprint smudges
  • It feels great, but still not QUITE like the naked screen.
This is the best screen protector I have ever used. It's the first one I have ever forgotten was on my screen, and the fact it doesn't use liquids is a huge plus for me. Is it as good as the naked screen? Nothing ever is, but this comes very close.

If you want a quality, hardly noticeable way to protect your Evo's gorgeous screen, I recommend trying the Seidio Ultimate Screen Guard.

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Twenty Three

Down only 0.2 pounds this week. Not bad considering I was in San Francisco all week at a conference.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Twenty Two

Well, after going to a friend's wedding this past weekend, I'm up 2.4 :-)

But I've already started working on getting it back down. I hate the gym, but it does provide results!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Review: Seidio Innocase II Surface for HTC Evo

Seidio is one of the leading 3rd party phone accessory companies catering to gadget freaks everywhere. From extra batteries and cables, to protective screen guards and cases. They were kind enough to send me an Innocase II Surface for my Evo to review, and I'm kinda glad they did.

Couldn't be easier. Slide on the top half, then slide on the bottom half. Boom. Done. I recommend cleaning the phone of dust/fibers/lint before installing, as sliding the parts on with anything abrasive caught inside could potentially scratch it.

The quality is great. The case is solid, with a good grip, and feels very sturdy. You certainly feel safer with this case on. After using it a few times during a call, I did notice a bit of creaking if I shifted the phone around in my hand. Nothing major or distracting, but thought I would mention it. This creaking is due to the fact that it is made of two separate peaces snapped together. There are tolerances involved, and even the tiniest gaps would cause some creaking. Is it a problem? No. On the plus side, I was informed by Seidio that they are now inspecting all cases thoroughly before they ship as a precaution to eliminate any possible defective cases. Can't ask for more than that.

A big plus is the inside felt lining, which helps prevent scratching and cushions the phone nicely. However, I wish it would span across the entire inside of the case. For some reason, it only covers the inner parts, leaving the edges unfelted.

There's nothing like using your phone in its natural state, unencumbered by anything that adds size or weight. That being said, the Innocase II Surface adds just enough to protect the phone from scratches or minor drops, but not enough to make a huge difference in size. I'm not saying it's not will certainly know you are using a case...but the trade off is only minor for the feeling of safety you will gain from keeping it on.

To put it in perspective, I originally bought the HTC Messenger Vertical Pouch from HTCPedia since I wanted to use my Evo bare. And that pouch is quite nice. What I didn't forsee was how big that pouch was in my pocket. It was significantly larger than the bare phone. The Innocase, however, is MUCH smaller in my pocket...almost as comfortable as the bare phone. Almost.

Removing the Case
At first, I was having trouble removing the phone from the case. The two pieces interlocked and it seemed extremely challenging to try to remove it. The instructions that came with it said to hold the top half and wiggle the bottom half. Well that just didn't work for me. A successful method I came up with was to use a guitar pick to slide into the crease between the two halves...but that was not practical, and it was still a little difficult to get it right.

I finally saw a post on an Android forum that mentioned pressing down on the middle part of the bottom half, then sliding the top right off. Brilliant. Basically, the bottom half contains a little plastic clip that grabs on to the top half. By pressing down on that spot, the clip loosens and the top slides right off. Watch the video to see how it's done. Very easy.

Seidio tells me they have listened to the feedback of their customers and have included a better install/remove instruction sheet for the case. That's good, because what they suggested in the original instructions was near impossible to get to work. Hopefully, the new instructions will mirror what I have suggested :-)

Generally, the case is a matte color, so you would think it doesn't pick up too many fingerprints or smudges. It certainly picks up less than the screen, but it does pick up some. You can see it a bit in my video. Now I don't know if my fingers are greasier than most, but they certainly do leave prints all over my phone, bare or in this case. It's less on the case, but they still show up. I'm not overly concerned here, however. The prints wipe off easily, especially with a moist towel (with the case off, please...don't "wash" your case while the phone is still in it!)

Overall, I give the Seidio Innocase II Surface a solid 8 out of 10. It's size is great, and it provides great protection, while managing to stay stylish in the process. I got the black one, but Seidio offers them in blue, pink, burgundy, and more...a nice touch. I wish it didn't pick up my fingerprints so readily, and the slight creaking when squeezing your phone a bit are really the only two minor issues I had with this case. For now, this is my main case (along with a Seidio Ultimate Screen Guard - review to come). My leather messenger pouch is good for when I need to pack my phone in my gym bag, for example, since it will offer a bit more protection as it fully covers the screen, but for day to day use, I highly recommend the Seidio Innocase II Surface.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Review of the HTC Messenger Vertical Pouch for the HTC Evo 4G

Having gotten one of the Google I/O HTC Evo's before the official launch, I'm a lucky man. The drawback, however, is that none of the official accessories for the Evo have been released yet, so I've been carrying this thing in my pocket without protection. With the huge 4.3" screen on this bad boy, I'm constantly afraid of scratches, drops, nicks, and other unthinkable occurrences.

One of the first things I did (after playing with the Evo for a day) is go searching for a case. I scoured forums, searched Google, eBay, Amazon, etc. It wasn't until I came across that I found what I was looking for. It's the HTC Messenger Vertical Pouch, presumably made for the HTC HD2, which has similar dimensions to the Evo, and now being marketed as for the HD2 as well as for the Evo.

The case is elegantly simple...a soft leather pouch, open on one end, with a cloth material inside that supposedly helps wipe the smudges off your screen as you pull out the phone. The fit is nice and snug, but not too tight. It won't fall out by itself, but it is still easy to remove by hand.

The leather looks nice, and smells like real leather, but not overwhelmingly so. The inside cloth material is soft, almost like suede. As for cleaning your screen of smudges, well it does help, but it certainly does not completely wipe them off. I suppose with repeated removals and insertions it will eventually clean the screen, but when I remove the phone, I use it and add more smudges. So in practice, the "clean your screen" is really more about removing minor bits of dust than it is about removing finger smudges.

Using this case, I have no fear of throwing the phone in my pocket along with my keys. Sure, it adds some extra bulk, but it's safe.

  • High quality manufacturing - well stitched, nice leather
  • Form fitting - helps keep the Evo protected, won't fall out accidentally
  • Soft cloth interior - helps keep the dust off the screen
  • Removable - use the phone in its naked glory, then put it back in the pouch when done

  • Makes the Evo bigger in your pocket
  • Contains a small label on the inside that I'm afraid will somehow scratch the screen if I insert the phone facing backwards. I'm probably being paranoid, though.
  • To charge the phone while in the case, you have to insert the phone upside down, which could turn the phone on accidentally if the power button is pushed.

Overall, I am very pleased with this pouch since it lets me still use the phone naked (the phone, not me) and provides a nice protective "house" when I'm not using the phone.

For more pictures, please view my Picasa gallery.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fring, Skype, Android, Evo

Today was a milestone. I placed and received my first video call from my HTC Evo smartphone. Amazing. This is Jetsons stuff we're talking about.

Fring released an app for Android phones that allows video calls over Wi-Fi/3G/4G. It also integrates with Skype and allows you to connect to any of your Skype contacts as well. So I connected with a Skype friend who was at his desktop PC running Skype with a desktop USB camera connected. Bing, bang, boom, we were video conferencing! My screen showed his video with my video in the corner, a la picture in picture.

Of course, the HTC Evo has a front facing camera that makes this all very convenient. Other phones without a front facing camera can presumably still use it, but will have to point their screens away from themselves when making a call.

Video quality was ok...a few skips here and there but totally usable. I walked around my office showing it off to coworkers, who were pretty impressed.

I then friended someone else with an Evo from a forum I frequent and we also had a video chat, Evo-to-Evo. He was located in Kansas City, while I was in Redwood City, California. He walked outside and showed me around. Video got choppy at that point since he was on Wi-Fi and was losing his signal. But it worked. And it worked well enough to be a usable product.

Now onto the flying cars that collapse into briefcases...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Twenty One

Ok, two weeks in a row! Down 2.8 pounds this week! This makes a total of 47 pounds lost so far :-)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Sprint Evo 4G

Found this in a forum post on Android Central and thought it was interesting...a Flash feature overview of The Sprint Evo, the upcoming uberphone from HTC. This thing's a monster. Of course, by the magic of the interwebs, this comment will live forever, even when the Evo is to future geeks what the iPhone is to us now. Oh snap! Did I just diss the iPhone? Ok, I meant the Motorola Razr. It's what the Razr is to us now. ;-)

Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Twenty

Yay, down 2.2 pounds this week! Working out helps :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The lazy CEO’s 10-step guide to crowdsourcing every business task

Saw this in my Google Reader and thought it was very interesting!

The lazy CEO’s 10-step guide to crowdsourcing every business task: "

Lukas Biewald (pictured left) is cofounder and chief executive of CrowdFlower, a startup that helps businesses crowdsource small tasks. Vaughn Hester (pictured below) is an account manager/analyst at CrowdFlower.

Whether you are starting a new company or are just the laziest CEO ever, there’s great news for you — the explosion in crowdsourcing strategies and solutions means you might be able to get started without any full-time employees! If you have projects or jobs that need to be completed quickly and inexpensively, here are some tips for getting the crowd to do your heavy lifting:

  1. You need a name for your business. One iPhone developer put the task of naming his e-reader out to the crowd through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and $27.50 and 500 responses later came up with the name iReadFast. That’s even cheaper than the Silicon Valley tradition of getting a few friends together with a few cases of beer before crushes your dreams.

  2. Now your great new name needs an eye-catching logo. 99 Designs helps companies crowdsource graphic design work to a broad network of artists and designers who compete to submit the best idea. You offer a payment price for the best logo, then pick the one you like best from the submissions.

  3. Once you cover those basics, you probably need lots of money. Immediately. Crowdsource your funding with Kickstarter, a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers and more. You name the amount of money you need to do something; people in turn pledge amounts in support of this project or business. If you receive enough pledges, your donors’ payments are processesed and you receive the full amount. You can incentivize your crowdfunders in creative ways with items like t-shirts, books, etc.

  4. In the digital age, you will probably need code development or programming. TopCoder claims to have been crowdsourcing since 2001, before there was a name for this phenomenon. It runs competitions with prizes that enable participants to compete for the best software, development and employment services solutions. To make an amazing webpage, oDesk can connect you with a web developer (or any other sort of freelancer you may seek). Its tools enable you to view progress on the project as work is completed.

  5. No product will be successful without customers – and that means marketing. Go to Trada, a search engine marketing and optimization company that lets the crowd pick the best keywords for your company or campaign.

  6. With your website and your AdWords account, you have a solid online presence. Find leads in the industries you are targeting with Jigsaw (recently acquired by It lets people upload contact information in exchange for the ability to download other people’s contact information. If you want all the phone numbers of all the execs, there’s a way to make it happen. Jigsaw has what it claims to be the world’s largest database of contact information.

  7. Now that you have these leads, it’s time to take a good look in the mirror and decide whether or not you really want to call them all. Chances are you don’t, which is right about when you want to visit LiveOps. The company specializes in call center outsourcing where you can set the script that you want “your” sales people to use. It has thousands of people (many of whom are stay at home mothers) in the United States who make the calls from their own homes.

  8. In the inevitable event that your customers get angry, use Get Satisfaction, where they can help each other. Get Satisfaction gives your customers a place to ask questions and voice complaints about your product. Often, your customer is the best person to respond to an issue another customer is having.

  9. Now that you have a healthy business you need to make sure that you invest in R&D to stay ahead of the competition. This is the point at which you want to visit InnoCentive, a company that allows you to outsource research and development of any kind. It lets you set bounties for the discovery of new things. This could range from a new compression algorithm to a new drug.

  10. By now you are undoubtedly big enough and prosperous enough to have your own corporate social responsibility efforts. Samasource lets you send microtasks to youth, refugees and women in developing countries. Your rich friends who are iPhone/iPad users can support this via GiveWork (iTunes link), an app developed with CrowdFlower that allows users to donate their time to charity by double checking the work done by Samasource workers.

Crowdsourcing isn’t just a buzzword –- it’s an effective way for companies to get started fast and iterate quickly with less overhead. All of these companies offer a service with less upfront commitment than traditional outsourcing -– and that advantage really shines when it comes to early stage companies.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

EVO 4G FAQs | AndroidGuys

This is the REAL Jesus Phone!

4.3" Screen
HDMI Out (720p)
720p Video Recording
1.3MP Front Facing Camera
8MP Back Facing Camera
Create a wireless hotspot (3G or 4G)
Simultaneous voice/data
1GHz Snapdragon Processor
Digital Compass/Proximity & Motion Sensors
FM Tuner
microSD card Slot
Android 2.1
    EVO 4G FAQs | AndroidGuys

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Nineteen

    Oh well. Up a pound. But still down in general since I lost the last two weeks. So this better be a good week!

    Friday, May 07, 2010

    The results are in...

    I recently entered a video in AndroidCentral's "Win Phil's Nexus One" contest, and after a week of voting, my video won! They were actually giving away two Nexus One's, so two of us won. Here is the announcement:

    Thanks to everyone who voted for me!

    Thursday, May 06, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Eighteen

    Down 2.2 pounds this week! I'm actually surprised since I cheated a little, but my daily walks must be helping :-)

    Monday, May 03, 2010

    Vote for my video!

    I have recently entered a contest to win a Nexus One smartphone by creating a video stating why I wanted to win. I decided to make a little music video cover of The Black Crowe's "Hard to Handle" (with altered lyrics).

    My video made it into the finals! Now it's up to YOU to vote for my video to win!

    To see all 15 finalists and vote for your favorite (me!) visit this page:

    Watch my video (labeled "Ed"'s the one with the guitar), select "Ed" from the choices and click the "Vote" button. I appreciate it! Thanks! Oh and PLEASE send this to any friends who may enjoy it :-)

    Friday, April 30, 2010

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Win Phil's Nexus One Contest Entry (Hard to Handle) is holding a contest to win a Google Nexus One phone. All you have to do is create a video stating why you want the phone, and people will vote for their favorite videos after the April 30th deadline.

    Well, here's my entry to that contest! I'll post the voting link as soon as that is ready.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Pictures from my dad's Around the World motorcycle trip in the 60's

    Between 1964 and 1966, Carlos Caggiani, my father, visited 26 countries on his 1947 Indian Chief motorcycle. His two year adventure is the subject of a book, "Huellas y Horizontes" (Tracks and Horizons). The Spanish version of that book can be found here, and an English translation is in the works for this year.

    Below is an album of pictures and newspaper clippings from his voyage.

    Huellas y Horizontes

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Sixteen

    Down 1.4 pounds this week! So that's a total of 40.4 pounds. I really have to try to break through this 40 pound barrier. Been hovering around here for too long!

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Fighting Android Fragmentation: Should HTC Sense become an app?

    Google's Android OS has been gaining huge ground lately on almost all cell phone carriers worldwide. Companies such as Motorola, Samsung, and HTC have jumped aboard creating handsets that utilize the open operating system. Google's own Nexus One was designed and manufactured by HTC.

    One thing HTC usually adds to most of their offerings (thought not on the Nexus One) is a user interface layer called "HTC Sense". This is basically "skin" of sorts that adds some functionality to HTC phones, including cool widgets and social networking add-ons. It is typically highly regarded in the Android world, though there are those who would prefer a "stock" Android installation.

    I personally use the Sprint HTC Hero Android phone (pictured). It runs HTC Sense, though it's currently still running Android 1.5, and not the latest 2.1 that the newer phones are getting. This is an example of what people are calling the "fragmentation" of Android. Fragmentation basically means that there are multiple versions of the Android OS out in the wild, causing some software to only run only on certain versions. Fragmentation is bad any way you look at it. Software developers have to choose which version their apps will support, or need to work harder to support them all.

    Add on top of that the modifications that some carriers add to their phones (Sprint adds their own built-in apps, for example) and the different skins that certain manufacturers add (HTC Sense and Motorola's Motoblur, for example) and you get a difficult and complex landscape to manage.

    Google has announced that they plan to battle fragmentation starting with the next version of Android, code-named Froyo, by focusing the OS to include just the core fundamentals, and breaking out certain features as downloadable apps instead of being baked into the core. This is a great step forward in fighting fragmentation, and it occurred to me that it is only the first step.

    Carriers and handset manufacturers need to follow by making their add-ons an a-la-carte affair. Want HTC Sense on your handset? Download the app! Want Sprint TV? Search the marketplace!

    Obviously, there would need to be some logic around this for business purposes. For example, only HTC handsets can download HTC Sense in the marketplace. Or only Sprint customers would be able to download Sprint TV.

    Or better yet, make HTC Sense (or Motoblur) available to everyone for a small fee. If you happen to prefer using Sense over stock Android, why not be able to install it? And HTC can make a buck in the process. The idea is for ALL Android phones to be able to run the same stock version and get updates from Google, and all the other features and add-ons would be downloadable. Kind of sounds like a regular desktop OS, doesn't it? Sure would make it easier, faster, and more convenient for all!


    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Fifteen

    Ok, so I worked out to try to make up for the baseball and hockey games I went to, and it seems to have helped a bit. Although I gained 0.2 pounds this week, it would have been way worse had I not worked to take some of it off.

    As a matter of fact, the day after my weigh-in at Jenny Craig, I had already dropped the weight.

    This week is looking free and clear, and I have high hopes of dropping more weight :-)

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Fourteen

    Sigh. Up 0.8 last week, and this week isn't looking much better (baseball game Friday, dinner/hockey game Saturday).

    I'll just have to work harder to stem the tide.

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    New touchpad driver enables multitouch on most laptops

    This driver enables multitouch on the touchpad for most laptops that use a Synaptics touchpad. That's a lot of laptops. I tried it on my Dell Mini 1012 and sure enough, it worked.

    I had to uninstall the Dell Touchpad driver, reboot, then install this one. Now two-finger scrolling and other gestures work.

    New HP Touchpad Driver that Unlocks Multi-Touch on older Touchpad -

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    My New Dell Mini 1012 Netbook

    I've had this for less than one day so far but I'm totally digging it. It's small, light, and quiet (no fans). It does get a tad warm underneath, but nothing like my Dell Inspiron 1720 (my 17" monster laptop).

    Here's a pic of the Mini sitting on top of the 1720.

    The Mini 1012 is running Windows 7 Professional, has a 10.1 inch screen, an Intel Atom N450 1.66Ghz processor, 1GB RAM, and a 160GB hard drive. I'll be adding more RAM (maxes out at 2GB) and an internal bluetooth module so I can use a wireless mouse. Ordered the parts.

    This thing will be perfect for meetings, taking notes, connecting to a projector to give Powerpoint presentations, email, and web surfing. Out of curiosity I am installing the Photoshop CS4 Trial just to see if it can even run. I am not too optimistic about that :-)

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Eleven

    So I was good at the hockey game (got a salad!) and ended up losing one pound this week. Not bad. My total so far is just over 38 pounds. Been here before but then the holidays derailed me. But now I'm back on track!

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Ten

    Only a 0.2 pound gain this week, and mostly because we ate out while my dad was visiting...and I was bad :-)

    Hockey game this weekend...I'll try to be good!

    Wednesday, March 03, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Nine

    Lost 1.6 this week, finally! Did some walking, ate my Jenny Craig. Since my February reboot I've lost a total of 4 pounds. Two more pounds to get back down to my November weight.

    Unfortunately this weekend will be tough since my dad will be visiting (yay!) and we'll be eating out a lot (boo! but secretly yay!). I'll try to make better's all I can do :-)

    Tuesday, March 02, 2010

    Apple is scared of Android

    Apple's dominance in the mobile marketplace is due to their industry changing iPhone products. New to the block is Google with their Android OS and multitude of manufacturing partners for their smartphones (Motorola, Acer, HTC, etc.)

    Android has been growing by leaps and bounds in the past year, and this seems to have caught Apple's notice. Interestingly, rather than attack Google directly, Apple has decided to sue HTC, the top handset maker of Android phones, for infringing on 20 Apple patents. But make no mistake...this is a warning shot aimed directly at Google.

    Oh, Apple. You're no longer just a cocky you're a bully too. And one that employs children.

    iSueAndroid T-Shirt shirt
    iSueAndroid T-Shirt by ecaggiani
    Many tee designs available at zazzle

    Friday, February 26, 2010

    Get your own QR Code on a t-shirt or other products at!

    Ever see one of these codes? Well if you haven't, you probably will pretty soon. They are becoming very popular these days. So, what is it?

    This is called a QR Code, or "Quick Response Code", and it can contain all sorts of information. Think of it as a bar code on steroids. Using scanner software (available on all Android phones and also the iPhone) you can point your phone's camera to a QR Code and get the information it contains.

    The scanner app will also identify the kind of data (email address, website URL, contact info, etc.) and present to you the appropriate options (send an email, go to a website, save a contact...) Some DVD makers are already including these codes on the DVD cover with a link to a trailer.

    QR Codes are already popular in other countries, and is gaining momentum here in the U.S. And now you can take advantage of this by generating your own QR Code and having it printed on a t-shirt, business card, mug, or any number of other products. Just visit my new site, to create your very own QR Code product. Cool! :-)

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Eight

    Hmm. Not sure what happened this past week. I walked 30 minutes every work day, and I ate well and I STILL gained 0.4 pounds. I would have put money on losing this past week, but such is life. I can't get discouraged. I'm still walking and drinking more water, so hopefully next week's weigh-in will go better. Sigh.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Seven

    Ok, small slipup...up 0.8 pounds this week should go better :-)

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Six

    Down another 2.4 pounds this week! Amazing what happens when you actually follow the program ;-)

    Wednesday, February 03, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Five

    I rebooted my mind on February 1st, meaning that I have reaffirmed my commitment to losing weight. January has been busy (birthday dinners, Vegas, holiday party at work, etc). So that is why I picked February as a good starting point.

    Well, seems to have worked! This week I lost 1.2 pounds! Which surprised me since this week still included some of my January exploits ;-)

    In any case, my new year has now begun.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Four

    So I came back from Vegas with a $40 jackpot and an extra 0.6 pounds. So let's recap...since November I have gained a total of 6 pounds. In the grand scheme of things, that's not too bad. And my February reboot is coming soon!

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Three

    Posting this late, but last week was bad...gained 1.6 pounds. I go in tonight for this week's weigh in (which is right after my Vegas trip) so not expecting much.

    Basically, my mind has been set on starting fresh in February, and I think that makes it easier to cheat. I have been good in between all the bad, so this could have been way worse than it was. But anyway, January is almost over, then I will get more serious :-)

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Sprint HTC Hero...all cracked up!


    This is my wife's Hero. It slipped from her hands and fell on concrete. So sad. But luckily we got the Best Buy insurance so we can get a new replacement!

    Note the scratches on the bottom. Funny thing is, the phone still works perfectly, and if you don't mind some cuts on your fingertips, you can even use the screen!

    Sidenote: These pictures were taken using MY Sprint HTC Hero :-)

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week Two

    Pleasantly surprised this week! I lost 0.8 pounds! The reason I'm surprised is because this week included Hooters and Cheesecake Factory. Of course I'm trying to be good in between :-)

    Friday, January 08, 2010

    Florence Henderson

    Sitting here listening to Florence Henderson speak. So cool!

    Thursday, January 07, 2010

    Greg's desk

    This is why you don't take vacations.

    Jenny Craig: Year 2 - Week One

    Hehe, starting off 2010 with a bang! Already had a birthday dinner and New Year's take-out, so the first week this year I gained 1.7 pounds! And I have two more birthday dinners this weekend, then Vegas on the 22nd! Tough times ahead!

    We're starting 2010 in February, right?

    Friday, January 01, 2010

    Jenny Craig: Week Forty Eight Results - Last of 2009

    The last weigh-in of the year resulted in a minor 0.5 lb gain. So the final total for all of 2009: down 37.1 pounds! Even though I've had a few gains throughout the year, the overall result is still I'm happy!

    Next up: A couple of birthday dinners coming up, then Vegas at the end of the month. THEN I can finally start in full force again :-)