Going between Ciudad del Este and Asunción – Paraguay

I've been going to Paraguay for years, and had always scheduled my meetings around the flights between Ciudad del Este and Asuncion.  After my recent discovery, this is very likely going to change. There is only one daily flight that takes you from Asuncion to Ciudad del Este at noon, and for a last minute ticket, you're looking at a $280 expense.  That's when I asked a client for a bus recommendation, and he suggested Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion.It's one of the higher end bus companies.  Continue reading

Switching from PC to MAC – The Backup

This is tutorial is tailored specifically to people who will have to permanently let go of their PC before they can import the data into their Mac, thus relying on an external hard drive.  This happened to my father in law (suegro) who was exchanging his PC for a Mac in a store, and could not wait for them to do the data transfer themselves.

For cases like these, I add some steps as fail-safes, but as the data in your PC will never be available to you again, better be safe than sorry.  It's not hard, and all you will need is an external hard drive (HDD) and diligence.


In your PC, go to Control Panel / Programs / Uninstall.  This will give you a list of all of the software installed.  Skip the ones that come included with Windows and write down which ones you plan to use, as you will that way know which to install when you get your Mac.  In this case, we retained Itunes, MS Office (including Outlook), Skype, Picasa, Google Chrome, Blackberry Desktop, and Kaspersky Antivirus.

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Is Mac right for you?

With so many satisfied Apple consumers, when your PC starts slowing down, you may be asking yourself whether Mac is right for you. Before switching to Mac, ask yourself the following questions:

Am I running any corporate or proprietary software that runs exclusively on Windows or Internet Explorer?

Proprietary software that is installed with a .exe extension will not run on Mac unless you install a virtual machine (software that emulates a Windows environment on your Mac). This should raise a flag when making your decision, especially if the software is critical to your occupation.

Likewise, some cloud based software only run on Internet Explorer, for which you also need a virtual machine.

Does my activity or hobby require a very high computing capability?

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Traveling: the Toshiba Portege is probably not right for you

A few months ago, my father in law wanted to switch from his Acer One netbook to something more powerful. His requirements were pretty straightforward:
  • Light:  As he travels extensively to areas riddled with cobblestones and dirt roads, the wheeled carry-on was not an option.  He therefore needs to carry the laptop in a backpack;
  • Powerful: This computer is his portable office, and he needs to run all of his software from a single place without the benefit of a big desktop or more powerful machine in a permanent location;
  • Great Screen: Why put an extra strain on your eyes?  Get a laptop with a great screen
  • Battery Life: Crop fields are very scarce on electric outlets, and so are airplanes.  A battery life of at least 5 hours was key
  • Carried by Best-Buy: If your time is limited, and you cannot be without a computer for more than a day, brick and mortar stores are still your best option.  They usually have an in-house customer service and technical support team, and they have their own warranty system that can exchange your laptop for you if you need it.  That's why I still buy my more expensive electronics with vendors who have a real store front in my area.  Best-Buy is my go-to store in Miami
After reviewing all of the models in Best-Buy, we chose the Toshiba Portege Ultrabook (TPU).  It worked as expected, powering up quickly thanks to its solid state drive, and there were no software issues.  It didn't crash for the first month and ran great.  If you won't be traveling, this is a good machine.

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From Religious Freedoms to “Happy Special Day!”

Over the past few years, religious freedom has been invoked for different reasons, including denial of services, even when mandated by law.  On the opposite spectrum, we have a new push towards Atheism where everything with a religious connotation is being targeted. I believe these movements are actually stemming from the same place: intolerance.

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Getting Customized USB Keys

Customized USB Keys are the ideal solution for any traveling salesman. I love the look and feel of catalogues when I'm in a meeting with customers, but I can't travel with a catalogue for each brand and each customer. What are my options to make sure they have all the information they need? Continue reading

Coral Gables Paddle Boarding

It surprisingly easy to launch a kayak or paddle board in Coral Gables.  All you have to do is head to the CocoPlum roundabout, and on the South side of the bridge, there's a little opening that will let you reach the canals.

It goes without saying that when paddle boarding, you should always respect the privacy of the people who live on the canals, and refrain from unwanted stops on their property.

On this occasion, due to high winds, we did not go very far, but it was quite the experience all the same.


View Coral Gables Paddle in a larger map


Rio de Janeiro – 1 day

So you're stopping over in Rio, and don't know what to do for a day, or where to stay.  Here are a few options I recommend, based on my stay there this week.  

Arrival in Rio: Tuesday 3PM

Departure from Rio: Wednesday 4PM


A cab ride from the city to the airport will run you under BRL 70 if you'll be staying in Ipanema or Copacabana.  I personally like to use the regular official taxis, but if you have the jitters, you can use one of the executive services (50% more expensive). They all compete, but have roughly the same rate. The cab ride from GIG to Ipanema will take you about 45 minutes.

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My Mac Battery isn’t charging & preserving your battery on the MAC

It happened all of a sudden.  One day, it was working perfectly, and the next, my MacBookPro couldn't turn on without being plugged to a power source.  Unfortunately, I was literally days away from a work trip that was going to take me through many countries, and many hours on airplanes.  Not being juiced wasn't an option.

Thankfully, even in disarray, Apple pulls through.  Click on the battery icon in your status bar and follow the steps:  



If you ended in Service, you should first check your Coverage Status.  This will tell you right away whether or not your computer is still covered by Warranty or by the Apple Care Plan.  If it is, and if your battery was not damaged by you, then Apple will probably cover the replacement (this depends on your personal warranty).

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So your MacBookPro is getting old…

As the saying goes, "Once you go Mac, you never go back."  All new Mac owners go through that initial phase of excitement when they discover the OS environment, the ease of installation, the never-crashing system, and all of these great leaps forward help them forget their wallet took a hit.  While I still believe Macs are the best value for money, their nominal fee remains high. Unfortunately, after the honeymoon phase, which typically lasts a few years, the PC (personal computer) starts slowing down, and the high performance you're used to starts getting sluggish.  When this happens, you have to question whether or not you'll buy a new Mac, or go for a cheaper windows PC, but there's another way that can save you big.  Here's how I saved $1,600 by upgrading my 2009 Unibody MacBookPro 13" through software and hardware upgrades. Continue reading