CSS Positioning is not “Rocket Science”

I published to GitHub pages an example-enhanced version of the W3C article on CSS Positioning:

CSS Positioning is not Rocket Science

Hope you find useful!


New Coworking Space at Miracle Mile


I have 5 daily day passes for tomorrow on a new coworking space at Miracle Mile in Coral Gables.

The name of the place is Right Space 2 Meet and the space is really neat. I have been trying it for the last two days and it has been great.

Let me know if you are interested, their address is:

100 Miracle Mile | Suite 200 | Coral Gables, FL 33134

And their Facebook page is:


The Goonies on Google, as I remember them

Some minutes ago I was looking for the main song of a movie I liked as a child. This is an easy task if you know the name of the movie but I didn’t . My best recalls were some images and scenes dialogues. Like an asian kid having a denture wired to an spring that saved his life while he was falling and the memory that this particular kid was saw as nerdy by the others. Anyway I tried only one set of keywords “treasure kids movie chinese” and Google yield the name of the movie as the second entry “The Goonies”. As I look at the highlighted terms of my search I notice that Chinese is no one of them, looking at the source code of the page  neither I found any literal appearance of chinese/asian/china. Funny enough without the “chinese”  keyword the search doesn’t return anything worthy (of my current curiosity at least)

The kid character’s name is Richard “Data” Wang (I remember he was saw as nerdy, didn’t I?) and was portrayed by  Jonathan Ke Quan who was born on Vietnam. The song is “Good Enough” and its singed by Cyndi Lauper. The lesson here, I think Google has become good enough finding things they way we used to remember.

Update: now the Goonies is the first entry:

Introduction to F# at .NET Miami

.NET Miami

This is post is kind of important. Is the first one in my domain, the first one since I moved to the U.S. and above all is about something I did for the first time but have waited to do it for long. That is give a talk about the F# programming language.

And just to make it better, the audience was the knowledgeable .NET Miami user group. The talk took place on April 19 in the Planet LinuxCaffe of Coral Gables. From here a sincere thanks to all the attendances and to the community care taker Richie Rump (@Jorriss) for all the help.

The agenda consisted in talking about the principles of functional programming, an 101 introduction to F# and finally to sum up we revisited the array data structure and explained how we could make a functional alternative with F#.

In this last topic I actually discussed a project I presented on the Spanish magazine dNM+ on 2010 which is also available for download among with the other resources:

Presentation Slides

Functional Matrixes Project

Functional Matrixes Paper

hope you like it


Verify the 1/pi generator from Ramanujan up to 1000 digits with Python

Pi Day

Verify Ramanujan’s 1/PI generator from up to 1000 digits with the language of your choice, that was the Programming Challenge announced by O’Reilly OST to celebrate this year’s PI day.

Ramanujan’s generator:

\frac{1}{\pi} = \frac{2 \sqrt 2}{9801} \sum_{k=0}^\infty \frac{(4k)!(1103+26390k)}{(k!)^4 396^{4k}}

I’m afraid I can’t offer pointers about how you can get to this results 🙂 but this is my verification using Python 3.0:

The use of Python simply allow us to take advance of the configurable precision of the Decimal data type. Another possible choice could be the Maple platform that also support an arbitrary precision but Python is just perfect for the task.

You can find the official info of the Decimal data type here. For a few terms of PI check this. If you don’t know who was Ramanujan please don’t postpone a visit to this link.

Hope you like it and Happy Pi Day!


NOTE: This post was originally published in my former blog at merthin.com

SQL Pocket Guide by Jonathan Gennick

Cover of SQL Pocket Guide 3rd

The SQL Pocket Guide isn’t a mandatory book to have in your desk because you can always take a look at good documentation from a database vendor, but the more databases you need to code against it, the more you will appreciate having it close to quickly find the information you need to resume your work. That is, when you read this book, you skip a lot of specifics about each database engine to concentrate in the practical aspects of SQL programming.

For those who have a hard copy, the organization of the book will turn out to be very useful, since every section name matches common practices of SQL. Some sections, like the ones dedicated to SELECT, Pivoting, and Joins, shine for including a concise and clear description of the concept at hand. Other sections like those discussing regular expressions, window (olap) functions, date and time functions, and data type conversions, will well be worth the cost of the book, since they merge all the know-how’s required to use these (ubiquitous) features in a couple of pages.

I can’t conclude my review without mentioning that in the process of reading it I found a few minor errors, albeit that fact, I think the purpose of the author to fit a great amount of information regarding the five major database engines in a short guide, has been achieved.

I rate this book with four stars and I would recommend it to anyone working actively on SQL, especially if the domain of work involves more than one database vendor.

This review was not otherwise solicited or compensated from O’Reilly, and the opinions of the review are the opinion of its author. The electronic copy (PDF) on wich this review is based was provided for free as part of the O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program

October 2010 Reading List

Writing this list is fun, I think I will do another one when this month ends.


Los Jefes. Los Cachorros / The Chiefs And the Cubs (Mario Vargas Llosa):

Read it in Spanish. Vargas Llosa won the Novel prize two days before I started reading the book so there is nothing new I can add to his master of narration. This is one of his early works but shows his original writing style. You will not find me saying this very often but I really think that the Perl Community lost a hell of a programmer and documentation writer in this guy =)




Live Linux CDs (Christopher Negus):

At the beginning of the month I was working on shrinking a Debian Based Linux to boot from a memory stick. The Live CD looked the natural path to follow and this books clarifies a lot of concepts besides containing good examples. I’m far from being a Linux expert and this book was a good place to start and get to know new commands also. I actually read 50% (yes, exactly that percent) of the book because I was just interested in a Debian based Linux. If you decide to read it I recommend that after you learn how and where the stuff happens for your distribution turn off the PDF reader and try a few commands for your own (the book doesn’t said you can use any visual package manager like Synaptic) . In the case you use Knoppix explore the bash files deeply and wrote your own bash files to automate the process of creating and archiving the file system images, it will save your time while serves as a snapshot repository.




 House Harkonnen (Brian Herbert / Kevin J. Anderson):

I have read a few books that fall in the class of science fiction or fantastic, almost 50 (and counting), that comprises famous series, but the Dune series is my favorite. I was very lucky to dive into the books once the universe have been expanded both to the past and future of the original books from Frank Herbert. This one, House Harkonnen, explores more about the key characters of the original Dune book, especially Gurney Halleck and Liet Kynes while shows how Jessica came to live in Castle Caladan with Leto, of course there is more but I don’t want to ruin your reading and summarize a volume rich on information.




 Professional WordPress (Hal Stern, David Damstra, Brad Williams):

If you think that WordPress is just for blogging I recommend to look for this book, you will be surprise about how can many things can be done starting from a publishing platform like this. WordPress is actually on his third major version and this book is really about the latest’s minor version of the previous release, however I still find the book useful and worth reading. I needed to earn quickly the know-how to customize WordPress and the book proves useful.




 Nuestro hombre en la Habana / Our men in Havana (Graham Green):

Read this one in Spanish. This is a curious novel about an English man that while selling washing machines on Havana is suddenly contacted by an strange man who turn him into a prepaid spy for the British Intelligent Service, the story become interesting when our man in Havana fake all his reports and every body miss this fact…

An interesting title if you want to know about the Cuba of that time, also I don’t know if the spy kind of social engineering mentioned in the book is highly accurate, but in case of true you may learn a few tricks.




Ubuntu Linux Toolbox: 1000+ Commands for Ubuntu and Debian Power Users (Christopher Negus, Francois Caen):

I’m not reading this title from cover to cover, whenever I need to do something I don’t know on Ubuntu I look for it in the contents of this books, my success rate is about 90%, that said a bit of my (actual | past) Linux knowledge and the usefulness of having this book close to your hands. This book worth the prize, for sure.