Concurso Escolar de Programacion – 2014

Concurso Escolar de Programacion 2014

CEP2014

El capitulo estudiantil de ACM de la UCSP está organizando la segunda edición del Concurso Escolar de Programación. El Concurso Escolar de Programación es una competencia que permitirá desarrollar tu creatividad y medir tus habilidades de comprensión lectora, matemática, abstracción y, finalmente, programación. Los participantes probarán sus habilidades de abstracción, diseño de algoritmos y programación en un ambiente competitivo.

Como la edición anterior, se realizara capacitación y entrenamiento a los colegios de la ciudad de Arequipa que deseen participar de este programa. Sin embargo, el concurso sera abierto a cualquier participante que cumpla con los requisitos de las bases. Te animamos a formar parte del mundo de la programación competitiva. Esto te ayudara a conocer y aprender con los mejores del Perú y del mundo.

Esperamos que los participantes puedan obtener la experiencia necesaria para después intentar participar de las competencias internacionales como el International Olympiad in Informatics – IOI o la competencia ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). De los participantes de la edición anterior hay mas de uno que continua desarrollando sus habilidades, preparándose y participando de competencias de este tipo.

Si deseas inscribirte o inscribir a tu colegio, visita el sitio web del concurso:

http://cs.ucsp.edu.pe/cep2014/

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On Sales

Last year I had the amazing opportunity to experience few educational events. Being having to leave my apt. for few days the one I most value. It’s surprising how one can construct an artificial world, as put by a lovely friend, around ourselves that can be really disconnected from what is going on in places where “stuff” is happening or the things that people has to do everyday, such as housekeeping, cooking, washing clothes, et al. So, I was just out there, in the streets. Quite shocking at the beginning but enriching in the long run. I recall how I did enjoyed watching everyday events when I was a child. Like a scientist trying to understand subject’s behavior and interactions. So, there was me watching events on places I was remotely familiar with –those are the best to learn–. So that’s what I did, and continue to do: Get out there, learn and engage with people.

Markets, like farmer’s markets that we still have in Peru, can teach you a lot about sales. You just need to pay attention. I was so used to go shopping to supermarkets that forgot how things work on say Arequipa’s San Camilo. Close to my house there is such a market. It even expands itself every Wednesday and Sunday all over the streets around it. The expanded market resembles, as I picture them, those farmer’s markets that Inca or pre-republic societies had for exchanging goods when there was no money involved in  transactions.

In such markets you can see different patterns on how people –producers and retailers– approach the process of selling. Take the guy who comes every day, has his established spot, places his products and just sits there waiting for someone to come and buy. Take the lady who does the same but in addition to that packages her products in a way that makes it easier (or sometimes hard) for the customer to actually buy, like PEN 1.00 packs of tomato, onion or broccoli. I cook, so most of the times such packs are really convenient since I don’t happen to have a large herd to feed, yet. But sometimes I need only half of it. At this point I, as the customer, have to deal with the “buy the pack and accept you will lose the other half” or “negotiate with the vendor so that she can adapt to your particular demand” shopping decision. One of the mistakes I made on my previous company was the “sit and wait” guy. Like there was some sort of Google for new companies that the market actively searches to find the amazing me. Then, I naively dreamed, that the phone will start ringing and I’ll be making lots of deals. Huge mistake. Lesson learned, adapted, moved on.

Back to markets.  You can also observe these people who come and make a big time show of themselves. Like this guy explaining the benefits of some sort of magic medicine that will heal all people’s aches. To support his words, delivered over a megaphone, he displays very dramatic –and certainly shocking for sensitive people– pictures of people at the very worse level of the disease. There is also a lady who basically shouts a price. You may not understand what she sells but one thing is clear: it costs you PEN 5.00. There is also the guy who goes around showing his products and at some point shouting the price. If you are looking for something he sells and you happen to actually find him among the crowd then business may take place. Common denominator on all sellers is little product differentiation, limited stock, but most importantly a large number of suppliers competing to get the same buyer’s money. The latter is basically what triggered my reflection, as it happens that such markets can resemble almost any market.

Selling patterns seen at the farmer’s market can also be seen at other markets. Take some time to think a bit how it is conducted in your current job. Selling is a crucial component of a company’s life, and also a nice skill to have — whatever you do. No sales means no income. No income means bankruptcy (being there, done that). So there has to be actual money going your side. Few days ago I listened a radio interview to a couple of  representatives for a well-known software company local office. One thing was clear to me: the company’s product line had nothing to do with the program’s audience. You could tell by audience questions on the phone, but primarily by host taking the lead and focusing on anecdotal conversation. Waste of time or lack of expertise on PR?

As a company or just a person trying to sell something you have to understand few key concepts. While shouting price for sure attracts people thinking about price as their primary shopping-driver, normally those are the ones ready-to-buy today. According market data, less than 8% of the total available market for your product. The fear model can work well in situations where the consumer is poorly educated about the actual benefits of the product. It can be you or anybody else, fear is fear. Fearless consumers exists, and no doubt they normally know what they want and have made some research on the market. The “traveling salesmen” model also works for occasional buyers, say selling ice cream on the beach, or going around on conferences et al., but what you want is repeatability on business from the same consumer, so having a known geographic location where they can find you is vital.

Every company has to find a proper model for conducting their sales process. But even before finding one, what you need to identify is who is your customer, where she is, how can you reach her. Knowing who is your customer is more important than knowing where to place your products. Say you sell toys for kids from 4 to 6 years old. Some people may think that all marketing and sales efforts should target those kids. Let me tell you something: those kids don’t have any money! Same scenario can be seen also on B2B sales. People trying to sell services to the wrong executive, who has time for you but little buying decision power. This lead us to another key aspect: prospecting. Prospecting is the ability  to identify whether a potential customer is the right customer for your product and, more importantly, has the money and decision power to buy now. You don’t do prospecting you end-up chasing a customer for years with no real action happening. Think of when you were trying to date that special one…, see my point. Time is money, so don’t lose it! To summarize: Know who is your customer, prospect and kick it.

Of course there is more about sales. It has some basic principles but depending on the company, product/service equation it could involve more complexity. I like selling, so I anticipate I’ll be writing more about it. Like when I sold some software to a well known bank and they met the sales guy, the manager and the wiz tech guy who delivered the product all-in-one person (that is me). Lots of fun times.

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Getting Movistar Peru ZTE MF193 work in Debian

After so many attempts to have my shiny Movistar Peru (Internet Móvil) 3G ZTE MF193 modem to work out-of-the-box in Debian jessie (unstable) with NetworkManager, the word frustration was hitting on my head. Even trying to do the right thing, led me to craziness. I gave up on fanzines and decided to take the old-school route. Release wvdial and friends!

Trying different combinations for wvdial.conf was no heaven for sure, but I’ve found this wonderful guide from Christian Amsüss from Vienna, Austria! that really made a difference. Of course he’s talking about the MF180 model but you get the idea. So I’m sharing what was different for the MF193.

Basically, I’ve done the eject and disable CD-ROM thing already, but still no progress. I’ve also tried using wvdial to send AT commands to the evasive /dev/ttyUSBX device. Starting from scratch confirmed that I’ve done such things properly indeed. I was amused by the fact that I could use screen to talk to the modem! (yo, all the time wasted trying to have minicom and friends play nice)

So, let’s get to the point. After following this procedure, you should be able to use NetworkManager to connect to the Interwebs using the 3G data service from Movistar Peru.

  1. Step 1 – follow the guide
  2. Step 2 – Here I had to use /dev/ttyUSB4
  3. Step 3 – follow the guide
  4. Unplug your USB modem
  5. Plug your USB modem. This time you should see only /dev/ttyUSB{0,1,2} and /dev/gsmmodem should be missing (not sure if this is a bug). Now /dev/ttyUSB2 is your guy.
  6. Step 4 – use /dev/ttyUSB2
  7. Run wvdial from CLI – it should connect successfully.
  8. Stop wvdial
  9. Select the Network icon on GNOME3, click on the Mobile Broadband configuration you have, if not create one.
  10. Voilá. Happy surfing!

I’m pasting my wvdial.conf, just in case.

[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB2
Username = movistar@datos
Password = movistar
APN = movistar.pe
Phone = *99#
Stupid Mode = 1
Init2 = AT+CGDCONT=4,"IP","movistar.pe"
Posted in Debian, Free Software | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

What have we done?

Couple of weeks ago I was in the situation of having to setup up a new laptop. I decided to go with wheezy’s DVD installer. So far so good. I didn’t expect (somewhere in the lies-I-tell-myself dept.) to have GNOME as the default Debian desktop. However after install I’ve figured it was the new GNOME3 everybody was talking about. Before that I’ve seen it in Ubuntu systems used by my classmates. I thought yeah, OK GNOME3, I think that’s fine for them as a Linux desktop. Turns out that I’ve started using the Debian desktop aka GNOME3 and noticed that it was not as bloated as the Ubuntu desktop I’ve seen before looked, so I sticked with it, (I thought for a while).

Turns out that I did like this new so called GNOME3, the non-window based but an  application-based system (that is something that sticks in my head). I liked the  way it makes sense as a desktop system, like when you look for applications, documents, connect to networks, use pluggable devices or just configure stuff every time with less and less effort. Good practices and concepts learned from Mac OS X-like environments and for sure taking advantage of the new features the Linux kernel and user-space environment got over the years. So, like one month later I stick with it and it makes sense for me to keep it. I had no chance to try the latest XFCE or KDE, my default choices before this experience. Kudos GNOME team, even after the depictions you guys had on GNOME Shell; as I learned.

This whole situation got me into some pondering about the past of the Linux user experience and how we in the community lead people into joining. I remember that when I guy asked: how do I configure this new monitor/VGA card/network card/Etc? the answer was in the lines of: what is the exact chipset model and specific whole product code number that your device has? Putting myself in the shoes of such people or today’s people I’d say: what are you talking about? what it is a chipset? I mean, like it was too technical that only one guy with more than average knowledge could grasp. From a product perspective this is similar for a car manufacturer tell to a customer to look for the exact layout or design your car’s engine has, so that they are able to tell whether is the 82′s model A or 83′s model C. Simplicity on naming and identification was not in the mindset of most of us.

This is funny because as technology advances it also becomes more transparent to the customer. So, for instance, today’s kids can become really power users of any new technology as if they had, indeed, many pre-set chipsets in their brain. But when going into the details we had to grasp few years ago they have some hard time figuring out the complexity of the product that presents itself on this clean and simple interface. New times, interesting times. Always good to look back. No, I’m not getting old.

Posted in Debian, Free Software | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Primer programa de maestría en Ciencia de la Computación – UCSP

Por primera vez nuestro país contará con un programa de maestría a tiempo completo, o dedicación exclusiva, en Ciencia de la Computación. La Universidad Católica San Pablo a través de la Facultad de Ingeniería y Computación, que ya ofrece el programa de pre-grado en Ciencias de la Computación tendrá a cargo el primer programa de maestría en Ciencia de la Computación gracias a financiamiento de CONCYTEC.

El Dr. Alex Cuadros, líder de este proyecto y logro para el área de computación, ha anunciado que gracias a este financiamiento del gobierno peruano los estudiantes podrán recibir un estipendio que asciende a S/. 2500 y también incluye seguro médico entre otros beneficios. Este nuevo programa, que iniciará actividades el año 2014, contará también con fondos ascendentes a S/. 100,000 anuales para dedicarlos exclusivamente a fines de investigación.

En las próximas semanas se difundirá mayor información acerca del programa y cómo postular al mismo. Una gran noticia para el país.

Update: Se ha publicado los detalles del programa y requisitos para los postulantes. Ver todos los detalles aquí: http://cicc.ucsp.edu.pe/maestriacc.html

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New GPG Key 65F80A4D

A bit late but I’ve created a new 4096 RSA GPG key. I’ve published a transition document as well. I hope I can meet fellow Debian developers soon to get my new key signed. So,  if you are in town (Arequipa, Peru) drop me an email!

 

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Concurso Escolar de Programación

El ACM Chapter de la UCSP está organizando la primera edición del Concurso Escolar de Programación. El Concurso Escolar de Programación es una competencia que fomenta la creatividad e innovación a través del análisis y solución de problemas computacionales. Los participantes probarán sus habilidades de abstracción, diseño de algoritmos y programación en un ambiente competitivo.

El concurso se llevará a cabo el 6 y 7 de diciembre del 2013 en la Universidad Católica San Pablo  – Arequipa, Perú. La modalidad de participación es individual. Esperamos que los participantes puedan obtener la experiencia necesaria para después intentar participar de las competencias internacionales como el International Olympiad in Informatics – IOI o la competencia ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).

Los participantes pueden registrarse y ver el reglamento del concurso en: http://cs.ucsp.edu.pe/cep2013/

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