Those are crazy times in which is difficult to handle working from home, doing the lock down…
But very nice times in which other people help others. Doctors and sanitary personnel fight in first line, truck drivers and supermarket staff are doing extra hours to provide to the society, investigators are working hard to get a vaccine…
Is beautiful that so many people are helping and contributing to the society.
I want to provide my humble experience on working remotely, so you avoid going bananas. Is very easy get depressed, anxious… So here is my advice.
Stick to a routine Respect the working times, like if you was going to the office. Dress yourself like a normal day in the office. Don’t be all day in pajamas or sport wear. Switch to sports wear when you finish your daily work at 6PM, if you want, but not before. If you talk via Slack, myself always keep the video turned on, as is a way to force myself into dressing and taking care of my look. I take a shower, dress like an Engineer at work, I have my break for breakfast and for lunch, and when I finish work I study 30 minutes and do exercise 30 minutes or more. Then I take another shower and I consider myself free. Note: The only exception I do to the dressing is in the shoes. I don’t wear any shoes, as my feet really enjoy walking freely over the parket.
Take care of yourself Shave, cut your nails… be polite. The same way you would if you had to go to the office.
Stick to the working clock As said in the stick to a routine advice, work your time, from 9AM to 6PM, and don’t get lost. The week ends are week ends, don’t work to free your mind. For the week ends I have my side projects, like writing books.
Walk If you can, walk an enjoy nature as much as you can. This clears the mind and keeps your mental health wellness.
Do exercise May be walking, but if you have a home bicycle, use it. Try to set a goal, like 15 minutes of bicycle daily, and grow from there, of keep it like that. But doing even 15 minutes of cardio every day will be highly beneficial for your mind and body. You may find it easy to do if you play videogames while cycling, or watch Netflix.
Stretch After doing exercise stretch your muscles.
See the light As much as you can, see the sun light. Try to do walks too and see nature. Daylight and nature are amazingly good for your mental health and morale.
Study/Learn new things I keep this as part of my routine. I study every day in Linux Academy or read a book at least half an hour. I’ve done this for years.
Keep you hydrated Drink lots of water.
Do your breaks. After 1 hour try to walk a bit in the house, to focus your view in distant points to relax your ocular muscles.
Ergonomics and light Try to have a correct light in the working are, a comfortable chair, the right height for the keyboard and for the monitor, so your neck doesn’t hurt and your hands neither.
Do like in the office: discipline In the office you don’t drink, you don’t smoke at your desk. So do the same. If you want to smoke one cigar after 2 hours of work, Ok, but don’t loss yourself in self-indulgence. Set strict rules respect alcohol if you love beer: No alcohol during working hours. Years ago I was CTO of a company with Team in half the world and I had a Team in Belarus. The Team Lead would be drunk in the sofa at business hours and start talking common words. If you have weak points, you don’t want to lose yourself. Be disciplined.
Set boundaries with your family and pets If you want to close the door of the room you work, your cat is not gonna die. It is used to be alone when you’re are in the office. So if it’s excessively demanding and wants you to pet him, or jumps over your laptop’s keyword while you are typing commands as root, set boundaries. Close the door. He can take it. Also for the kids, the wife, the mother. Please, do not disturb me while I’m working. We will play after.
During covid-19 lockdown, do videoconference Do videoconference with your family and friends. You can use Slack, Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger… I schedule a daily whatsapp video conf with my family, and a weekly with my cool friend Alex :)
Be very patient with your colleagues and Team members We are all humans and each one has its own situation. Some people may feel depressed, alone, others may have problems with the partners or the parents of her/him living with them. Other may have a cat trolling all the time stopping the work. Others may have hyperactive children, or just having a poor chair, poor desk, and having only the laptop and no external monitor. Others may have the family far, in another country, and suffer for them. Be patient and understanding. Be Human.
Have a good Internet connection and use cable over Wifi I have 360 Mbit at home with Virgin and I connect the laptops with Ethernet Gigabit cables. That brings me the best and most stable connection. In case of emergency I can do tethering with the phone (share the connection using the phone as Wifi Hotspot)
Have spare Hardware and cables In this time of lockdown, is good to have spare cables and adapters for everything. Just in case they die. If you can have a spare monitor, and spare laptops this is great too. I have 3 laptops, plus one tower, plus several raspberry pis, plus the tablet, plus my working laptop. If one dies, I can use the others. I always have all kind of Hardware and cables as spare (Gigabit switches, power adapters, international adapters, Ethernet cables, USB cables, headphones…). Even if I can buy in Amazon nothing can stop me. One day we had an incident with Virgin, which affected all Ireland. I was out as the Fiber was not working and the phone was with Virgin too, but I have two additional SIM cards and spare phones, from vodaphone and Tesco mobile. So I’m well protected. :) As per the comment of Jordi Soler, I update the list of gadgets, mentioning my Hp Laserjet Color Printer, very handy to print document that I have to sign and then scan and sending back by email, and the UPS. The UPS is cool, as if electricity goes down I don’t loss Fiber Internet. Imagine, a router connected to the UPS can last hours! however is very infrequent that in Ireland we loss electricity. And the issues I experienced in 3 years were quickly resolved (unlike Barcelona where once more than 300,000 people were 3 days without electricity).
Keep doing backups If talking about job things, you can upload to Corporate Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive.
One of the problems with the laptops and battery-power devices in general is that if we have them connected to the energy line all the time, never using the battery, the battery just loses effectiveness and dies.
But some batteries can also explode.
As we are working all day at home now, our laptops are connected 100% of the time.
In my case one of the equipment I use is a Dell Laptop and the battery started to swallow and to bring the touchpad up. As the temperature of the laptop internally increased by the battery being hot as it swallows, you may notice the internal fan doing extra hours, running almost all the time, a high temperature on the chassis. High temperatures can lead to laptop malfunction like hang or reboot.
In extreme cases the battery can explode, so you should replace it if it is swallowing.
So I recommend you from time to time to unplug the power cable and run the laptop on battery until it almost completely depletes, or at leas for a couple hours before plugging the power cable again.
In another order of things I recommend you not to do drugs. Drugs affect your brain, and is hard enough to be isolated in lock down, to add chemicals messing with your neurons.
Please note: Even if I tried to make it easy, probably there are too many concepts for a non-programmer. Will try to deliver more basic previous knowledge and foundations, so people with zero knowledge don’t feel overwhelmed.
Start by installing Python 3.8 or 3.9 in your computer, and the IDE PyCharm. Install also Git, and create an account in GitLab so you can share code with other people and understand how Git works.
Ok, so you can take a look at my video, and hopefully it makes spark your motivation to learn by yourself. :)
I’ve been asked why I used print(“”) instead of print().
Is a good question. The reason is, when we programmed in Python 2.x the native way was to print without parenthesis, like:
print "Hello World!"
Python 3.x was incompatible with that and requires to use parenthesis, like:
Fortunately Python 2.x accepts also to print using parenthesis. In order to have compatibility within Python 2.x and Python 3.x or for future compatibility we were using always print(“Whatever”) in Python2.
However, there is one difference.
If you user print() or print(“”) in Python3 that will generate an empty line.
In Python 2 print(“”) will generate too an empty line, nevertheless print() in Python2 will print two parenthesis. We don’t want that.
This is illustrated in this screenshot:
So all the people that are at home, closed down for coronavirus, you have a chance now to start learning Python and from there get a live as programmer.
You can download the code for this lesson 0, from:
In order to be able to do more samples, and then being a bit interesting an dynamic, I will introduce here how to get data inputted by the Keyboard.
print("Please enter your name:")
s_name = input()
This will add whatever we type, without the final Enter, to the String variable s_name.
Capturing numbers from Keyboard
How we do to capture a number, like how old are you, in years?.
The same way, and then we convert this to an Integer value. An Integer is a data type which is basically a number, not decimal. Like: 1, 2, 7, 1000 o -5.
print("Please enter your name:")
s_name = input()
print("Please enter your age:")
s_age = input()
# With int() we convert a String to an Integer, as long as it is possible.
# Wit str() we convert a Integer to a String, as long as it is possible.
i_age = int(s_age)
If you enter a number incorrectly and so that cannot be converted, you will get an Exception Error. That is something that happened in a way that was not expected. These error can be trapped, and we will see this later, in the future.
How to capture data from the keyboard with input()
How to convert data entered as String to Integer with int()
How to sum two numbers, like 2 + 3
How to subtract two numbers, like 2 – 3
How to multiply, like 2 * 3
So know, you should be able to solve a basic arithmetic exercise in Hacker Rank:
I’m teaching Unit Testing, Refactors, Quality Code and moving from Procedural to OOP to some colleagues, you can find source code for our classes here (please, be aware that there are some error made on purpose to show why and why not do things and hot to apply proper unit testing)
This is the first article I write about FrontEnd in here, as this is very casual and trivial, and I wanted to specialize the blog in Extreme IT, going deep into knowledge and difficult questions. And in any case, more for BackEnd, Engineering, and Hardware and Operations.
But as it is something useful and myself didn’t found an answer when I googled it, I think is no bad to share it here. Nevertheless I’ll not make it appear in the front page to be loyal to my essence.
So I like Twenty Twelve WP Theme. It’s clear, that’s what I expect from a blog from an Engineer: easy to read. Maybe is to Spartan, but that’s grant.
The instructions to do like me:
Make a copy of your original Twenty Twelve Theme in another directory, at the same level
Edit the file /var/www/blog.carlesmateo.com/wp-content/themes/2021-blog-carlesmateo-com/style.css
Add a new section like this
So I defined a new @media screen with min-width of 1800px.
Why 1800px and not 1920px like Full Hd?. Because Ubuntu use some width for the lateral bar.
Then over body .site section I set a max-width: 1800px that will do the trick for some browsers, and the rem value that will do the trick for Chrome.
Now the main section of the block can be correctly displayed using most of the space available.
Just installed a media player in my Raspberry Pi 4
So I mentioned it was one of my pending tasks, to do while I’m confined here, at home, to help the Irish government to stop the quick spread of the coronavirus.
I’m happy that the situation in Ireland has stabilized, unlikely in Spain, where that historical lack of discipline and selfishness and super ego to believe Madrid the capital of the world, and so deciding not to close it for quarantine, will cause a lot of pain. I hope the closing of frontiers in Catalonia works.
They have a very nice SD image writer for Linux, Mac and Windows, that will install the proper image on the micro-SD for your ARM device.
This Raspberry Pi 4 comes with Wifi integrated and a Gigabit Ethernet network port.
When I was in Barcelona, I had Kodi with Raspberry pi 2 and version 3.
This model v. 4 is much more cooler. I bought the 4GB version, and has 2xHDMI 4K.
So it is great to connect to any modern TV.
In Barcelona, I have Linux tower as NFS Server sharing my files with the Pi. Work good, even for the 100Mbit NIC of the version 3, but at that time I was only playing Full HD as the Pi didn’t supported greater resolution, and I only had that resolution on my displays too.
For now, I’m going to explore how is reading from a USB 3.0. Let’s see if it’s able to play smoothly.
The cool thing also is that I have SSH access, and so I can use the Pi for many more things. :)
I have my first update, I noticed that copying to that USB was not the best for me, as I tried to copy a .MKV file of 4.9GB and I encountered the limit of 4GB of FAT32. I could format the USB as ext4, but what I did is, SSH into the box, I see that I have two partitions on the SD for booting the Pi, the second one is a ext4 called storage. So I copied to the SD, through the network, using sftp the file I wanted.
The Gigabit connection was fast, but when the buffer fulled it started to show the real speed of the SD which is 15MB/s for writing.
Ext4 has no problem in holding a file 4.9GB so I’m watching my movie now. Will think about setting a NFS for the Pi as it will be very convenient. :)
I have an external, remote, keyboard logitech, but it happens that LibreELEC recognizes my Sony command, from the television. I don’t need the keyboard/mouse. Nice.
Here you can see my Raspberry Pi 4, connected to TV, in “combat mode”, naked, as PoC, before setting in its definitive place behind the TV.
Playing from the external USB 3.0 stick was also fluid, allowing 4K perfectly.
The only problem I has was when I was pushing movies to the USB through the network, and playing at the same time from the SD. It seems like the Raspberry reached its limits doing this and playing stuck frequently.
Please, take in count that the colors may be different depending on the Terminal used, so if you’re creating a commercial application I recommend you to try with some of them like: ubuntu terminal, ssh, putty for windows, MobaXTerm…
Today I was checking the code, the latest push to the git repo, as I always do, and I saw something that was wrong.
Often Engineers can be confused by the ways different languages treat similar operations, so similarly as POSIX I try to use an standard way to program in any language that makes the code very clear and easy to understand, no matter if it’s C, Java, Python, PHP…
My code and the code of my Teams will be clear, and easy to understand. And as the good Engineers jump from language to language upon the needs, is better for all to proceed like this to avoid confusions.
In this case I want to cover a simple case that I detected. A wrong usage.
The code was returning True on success and if not simply return.
Here I show a simple demonstration that return itself will be returning return None.
# Proof of Concept for avoiding return without the type
# Author: Carles Mateo
# Creation Date: 2018-03-27
from pprint import pprint
if b_value is False:
Microsoft has released Windows 10, and with it the possibility to Download a Windows 10 Appliance to run under Virtual Box, VMWare player, HyperV (for windows), Parallels (Mac). Their idea is to allow you to test Microsoft Edge new browser in addition of being able to test the older browsers in older VM images.
I wanted to use Windows 10 to check compatibility with my messenger c-client.
Instructions are very precarious and they didn’t specify a minimum version, however if you use Virtual Box under Ubuntu 14.04, so Virtual Box 4.3.10, you’ll not be able to import the Appliance as you’ll get an error.
Update: Thanks to Razvan and Eric!, readers that reported that this also works for Mac OS 10.9.5. + Virtual Box 4.3.12 and VirtualBox 4.3.20 running under Windows 7 respectively.
I was looking to find a solution and found no solution on the Internet, so I decided to give a chance and try to fix it by myself.
The error is: ‘Windows10_64’ is not a valid Guest OS type. so obviously, the Windows10_64 is not on the list of the VirtualBox yet, it is a pretty new release. Microsoft could had shipped it with OS Type Windows 64 Other, or Windows 8 64 bits, but they did’t. I wondered if I could edit the image to trick it to appear as a recognized image.
I edited the file (MSEdge – Win10.ova) with Bless Hex Editor, an hexadecimal editor.
I looked for the String “Windows10_64” and found two occurrences.
I had to replace the string and leave it with exact number of bytes it has, so the same length (do not insert additional bytes). I searched for the list of supported OSes and found that “WindowsXP_64” would be a perfect match. I replaced that 10 for XP twice.
Then tried to import the Appliance and it worked.
I tried to run it like that, but it froze on the boot, with the new blue logo of windows.
I figured out that Windows XP would probably not be the best similar architecture, so I edited the config and I set Windows 8.1 (64 bit). I also increased the RAM to 4096 MB and set a 32 MB memory for the video card.
Then I just started the VM and everything worked.
Ok, a funny note: Just started, it installed me an update without asking ;)