With FIU Professor Kip Irvine

Assembly programming is one of those hidden gems in a programmer’s tool-chest. It is one of those languages where you can actually see what the compiler outputs. No matter what the compiler says or does, assembly is the core of debugging and more.

Kip and I met back around sometime circa 1996-1997. We know it was around that time, but we couldn’t remember who/what/when/where the occasion. Since then, we have remained good friends and when I visited Miami, and as often as I could, I made it a habit of reaching out to Kip for coffee and chat about out of all things, assembly programming and why it was important.

A few days ago, I found the fourth edition of his book and it hit me, that during all these years, I have never asked Kip for his autograph. Well, today was the day. Joining other books signed by the likes of Jim Blinn, Brian Barsky, Bjarne Stroustrup,  J. Peterson and other giants, I got his John Hancock. And we caught up about what we are doing during lunch today as well.

Thanks Kip.


IMG_4141IMG_4144 (1)



Minimalist Sublime Text Swift Build

Thats a funny title.

Now updated to reflect XCode6-Beta3

If you are like me and sometimes are in a mood where you don’t want to deal with starting up terminal, and/or, dealing with vi, I went ahead and did a quick and dirty build script for Sublime Text 2.

Am assuming you have ST2 downloaded, and are pretty good at it. If not, is ok. Follow these steps for Swift builds under Sublime Text 2


Tools->Build System->Build New System

Sublime will create a blank file called untitled.sublime-build with the following information


Replace the above with

Save as

Sublime will save it in its packages:users folder.

If you just updated to XCode6-Beta3 then use this

Save as

That is it 😀

Then once saved, write some Swift code and Command+B and it should magically works.

Here is my sample output. Now, who is willing todo the Swift Sublime color syntax highlighter.
Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 4.53.58 PM

As usual, let me know if I missed anything or how to improve.

Also, unless otherwise indicated, this will most likely work under Sublime Text 3.





On Entrepreneurship

I was in Miami a few weeks ago and I was invited to give a presentation about Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. Having grown up in Miami and seeing how other cities in the US have gone out of their way to provide both financial and incentives to get the startup community growing in their cities, (Austin, New York, Boston, Seattle to name a few) I was happy to be provided with the opportunity to present in Miami.

The setting is pretty much the same, the City gives some property, tax incentives, financial incentives to organizations that are incubating, funding, and helping startups grow from early stage to series A.

My presentation was at The Launch Pad in Miami.

Here is the presentation in its pdf format >>




Called it.

If true, and I think it will happen, as it is only a matter of time.

In an article published on Informationweek 03.23.11, I stated that Apple will eventually replace Intel chips with its own A5 Chips (ARM). (ok the A5 is the A6 and is based on ARM architecture)

“Carlos Icaza, …, believes Apple is preparing for a transition to ARM chips, particularly given Apple’s acquisition of chip maker Intrinsity last year. “We could actually start seeing the lower end MacBook models and the MacBook Air running A5 chips instead of Intel chips,” he said. 

Today, November 5th, 2012, TechCrunch reports that Apple is looking into switching from Intel to its own ARM chip sets.

Click link for the TechCrunch Article

Smart move.


It doesn’t matter what anyone says

Apple sold over 5 million iPhone 5 this past weekend. It disappointed Wall Street as they wanted over 6 million sold. Piper Jaffray, analysts, wanted over 10 million sold, therefore calling it a disappointment. Also, over 100 million iOS devices updated to iOS 6.0.

So much to the ballyhoo of the Samsung ads bashing the iPhone 5.

After seeing the following pictures, do you think it really matters what wall street says? or anyone else for that matter?



A More Efficient Way of Calculating the Length of a Bezier Curve. Part II

In my previous post “Calculating The Length of a Bezier Curve. Part I” I computed the length of a curve using a brute force method which in reality was really bad. But due to the time constraints I was forced to use it and made the grave error of posting it. It has been bugging me ever since, as I knew I had done a poor job. Here is a more efficient way to compute the length of a Bezier curve.

Recall the Bezier form is as follows:

Which in turn, for a cubic Bezier curve, it expands into

Here is some code that could help you calculate the length of the curve.



<span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 1.5; background-color: #ffffff;">This is pretty much the same code as my previous post but it allows for just a call to calculate the length of the curve.</span>

Begun the Clone Wars Has…

Let’s rewind back to the 1980’s when IBM introduced the IBM PC.  It was based on off the shelf parts. Probably the first time ever IBM used non-IBM parts to build a computer. Every other computer that had come out of IBM had been built with IBM parts specifically done to their exacting standards.

Later around 1984, after the Mac 128K was introduced, or around that time frame, IBM introduced the IBM-pc-AT.  It was around this time frame that clones (they were there before, but not as prevalent as after the AT came out) started to encroach into IBM’s well-guarded territory.  Besides, “nobody has been fired for using IBM” so how could anyone not buy an IBM and go wrong?

Compaq, Dell, Gateway, Orange, Apricot, and countless other manufacturers of PC’s filled up the then “Computer” stores with cheap alternatives to IBM.

IBM reacted, panicked, and introduced the PS/2 line changing the AT architecture into its own proprietary format, the Micro Channel Architecture, vastly superior to the AT (ISA) architecture in hopes to lure back customers who were buying alternative PC’s. Following that, the “clone makers” formed their own consortium and came up with the EISA architecture so they wouldn’t have to pay IBM to license the MCA technology.

It was not long before IBM realized their “oops” moment as MCA was not compatible with the plethora of video, network, you name it board; any ancillary add on board was not compatible with MCA. EISA was. So everyone just ignored the PS/2 and continued to purchase “the clones”.

(ps: I was a proud owner of a PS2/60).

Now, let’s focus on OS’s. And this should be fairly short.

IBM PC licensed MS-DOS, clones licensed MS-DOS.  Apple had its own Finder. The niche alternatives had their own OS’s, Amiga OS, Atari OS, etc. Later, around the late 80’s came the GUI OS’s, Windows 3.1, GEM, DeskMate, Geos, X Windows, IRIS, NeXT, etc.

So what?

Wait, Apple had its own Finder? IBM and the Clones had MS-DOS? The niche players had their own OS’s. I won’t even mention Windows and IBM OS/2 because we all know what happened there. (Can we also say billions down the drain?  Taligent, BeOS, WebOS?!)

Apple iDevices have their own non-licensed OS called iOS
Google and all the clones have licensed Android
The (“now”) niche players have their own OS?
BlackBerry with their BBOS, Nokia with WP7, Samsung has Bada, HP had WebOS(Palm) and in Japan, NTTDocomo and some other big telcos are dipping their hands into other OS’s that we haven’t even heard of.

So there is a similar state in today’s mobile world as we saw in the early PC era of the 80’s.

Whatever happened to Compaq, Dell and some of the other major PC clones? What happened to the Niche players? Atari/Amiga? What happened to the bevy of GUI OS’s?

Compaq got bought out by HP = Google buys Motorola Mobility
Dell loses leadership in PC sales = RIM losing market share today
Gateway = Nokia
Atari/Amiga/etc. = Nook, Amazon Fire, and some others
The dead pool = HandSpring/VirginMobile/ESPNMobile…etc.

So, you say, Carlos what if any does this have anything to do with the Tablet wars?

In order to predict the future, as the adage goes, you must look at the past.

And this past month we saw the introduction of the Microsoft Surface and Google introduced the Nexus 7 tablet.

And all analysts, fan boys, hate boys, etc. came out of the woods to chime in and cast their vote.  We all do. Just like the NFL FanBoy who is the best Good Old Monday Morning Quarterback.  We have our analysis and a few words to say. This is our NFL – and now we are waiting to see who goes to the SuperBowl. (Ok, I get carried away sometimes but you know what I mean).

Google with the new Nexus 7 just bitch slapped Samsung, Amazon Fire, the NOOK, and the other Android tablets out there; crazy, it also gave a huge vote of no confidence to Motorola Mobility. Google teaming up with Asus to deliver on a 7” Android Jelly Bean tablet instead of Motorola. Sure, had it used Motorola the FTC/Sec and every other security TLA commission would have been on top of them like fly on shit due to some sort of insider knowledge, trade, etc.. crap that someone would have pulled against them in order to make an improper business allegations against Goorola merger, but seriously? Joining the space that your partners have been supporting you in?

Reminds me of the Microsoft of yesteryear. Norton Antivirus, check, Memory defragmenter, check, Disk utilities, check, Word processors, check, Spread Sheet, check. Them predatory practices that put Microsoft in a bind, is what to me, Google is doing to its partners.

So why would Samsung, Amazon, HTC and others continue to support Android? Hello?? I would not. Getting shafted by the maker of the OS is just plain bad business leaving a bunch of people with bad taste.  Besides, most Android device manufactures have to pay Microsoft a licensing fee of upwards of $15 dollars due to some Android patent infringements. It has been surmised that Microsoft has made over $500 million in Android patent fees, actually, making more money on Android that Google. I like to think of it as Google was the one who finance the Windows Surface project.

If I were the head of any of the aforementioned companies I would have a task team looking for alternative OS’s.

Samsung to take Bada out of Asia and start a US/NonPAC push
Amazon – revives webOS or gets something else fast
NOOK – just like Amazon, but with their current Microsoft partnership, hello Windows 8, here we go.
NTT-Docomo – they hate Android because there is no differentiator among the Android phones in Japan vs KDDI and the others big telcos. Hello Mozilla OS.
Microsoft – buy RIM for their assets, and distribution and the messaging/mail infrastructure. (Just get the patents and put them out to pasture).

So the theater of operations in the mobile clone war is beginning to take shape.

Microsoft, Apple – with their deep pockets, are not going anywhere.  Apple with iOS and iDevices will continue to make huge profits and continue to drive excellence.  Microsoft is a copycat but due to their deep coffers, can put up a good fight, well not really, but will be on the long run and out finance its compeititon.

Googrola/Amazon/Nook/Samsung/HTC – here comes the blood bath. This is where the real fight is going to happen and the battle lines were clearly drawn by Google at the I/O conference. This is going to be one hell of a blood bath and it is going to be a fight until their grasp continues to diminish.

Coincidentally, the only one in this pack that could suffer the most is Samsung. Unlike Amazon/Nook/Google, Samsung doesn’t have a Video/App/Streaming/Book/ “content” distribution similar to its brethren (at least not here in US).

And who is going to come out of left field and try to get into the action?  How about Mozilla with their HTML5 based Mozila Mobile OS(some of you may know it as Boot To Gecko)?

Given the latest reviews from notable technologist, the Google Nexus 7 has been given high marks.  And for Jelly Bean, (aka Android 4.1) reviewers are all googly eyes over it (pun intended), clearly making this an indisputable clone wars started by non-other than by Google.

Given the new battle lines, here is what I think:

Apple will undoubtedly continue its dominant position without any dent in its sales because of the Nexus 7.  Seriously, the Nexus 7 will eat into Amazon/Nook/Samsung/etc before it makes any dent in the Apple iPad Sales.

Microsoft and its Surface tablet – I think that MS has a good chance to become the 2nd place in the tablet wars. With its deep pockets and Android licensors having to pay MS for patent infringements, makes sense that given the Nexus 7 some of the early supporters of Android will move away from Android and into other markets where they either pay less per license or something completely different.

The Android Clones  will settle at 3rd place before some of the tablet makers realize how bad they have just been shafted and either move away from Android or from the market altogether.

RIM/Nokia – Dead

Mozilla OS – reminds me of IBM OS/2 will serve as a niche market.  Great opportunity for some manufactures to use instead of Android so as not to pay the hefty Microsoft patent tax. :-)

So who wins this war after all?

Actually developers and cross platform framework makers like Appcelerator or Moai win.

Developers win because they have a job working on all the different platform, segmentation, etc.
Framework makers win because they can create tools to target multiple platforms at once.

Who loses?

Anyone building Android devices and, obviously, RIM/Nokia

Who is the real winner?

The real winner is the “App” because as long as I have my favorite App running on my bevy of devices, and as long as the app does what I need it to do flawlessly and my data is readily available anywhere, anytime, I will be ok regardless of device.


In the late 80’s early 90’s we saw a consolidation of companies, both in terms of hardware and software. Some of them were, and still are synonymous with the markets they spearheaded. Pioneers in the true sense.

This mobile industry is still very young, but looking at the past, it should predict and or allow us to predict who will be the dominant players, who will die, and who will come in from behind and take over a specific niche market (i.e.: intuit).

And the now lingering question is, who is the next intuit of mobile? …. stay tuned….

So Adobe Finally Killed Flash on Mobile

In the I told you so department….

I have gotten a flood of emails, calls, text messages from industry analist, pundits, Adobe Flash Fanboys, haters, regarding the recent news on Adobe finally killing Flash on Android.

So, instead of babbling on what Adobe shoulda/coulda/woulda done, I will point you to these articles and let them speak in my behalf




Have fun reading them and let me know your thoughts.