How I almost lost all my source codes.

Now sit down my dear and listen carefully, I’ll tell you a story about how I almost lost all my sources.
A while ago, I decided to give my marvelous Macbook pro mid-2013 an upgrade. I searched online a little bit and at the end I bought an SSD drive, a Corsair Force LE 240GB

“But 240 is not enough!” you might say.  “You’re right”. It’s not enough. 

I was not using the DVD drive at all so after a brief research, I found the right adapter and replaced it with the old 500gb Apple disk , leaving space for my shiny new SSD.

Everything was perfect, El Capitan was lightning fast, everybody was happy. But then came the day that I needed Windows. So Bootcamp joined us and new partitions started to appear.

180GB OSX Extended and 60GB NTFS on the SSD.
450GB OSX Extended and 50GB exFAT on the ol’ Apple disk.

Again, everything was perfect, El Capitan was still lightning fast, Windows 10 was running fine, everybody was happy.

I was running Windows from the SSD and all the programs were installed on the other drive, together with all the source codes. Yes, before you ask, I have a Bitbucket account. Yeah, a Github one too, but Bitbucket gives you private repos for free.

However, after a while, I realized that when Win10 goes to sleep mode some strange misbehavior appears, in the form of weird SMART messages when turning on MacOs.

Long story short, one day I rebooted from Win to MacOs and puff! the partition with all the sources was gone. Disappeared. An empty, dark and cold space.
I almost got an heart attack.

Disk Util, Disk Warrior, mysterious command line tools, I tried everything, nothing worked. After hours of researches and curses, I fired up Windows and did the only thing I had left:

chkdsk e: /f

That saved my day.

Moral of the story? Always backup your source codes, even the most insignificant snippets.

Edge Guardian available on Steam!

This time I just want to spread the word about my two good friends Maurizio and Marco from Hypotermic Games, who have finally got the chance to publish their first game on Steam, Edge Guardian !

In a nutshell, it’s an action beat-em-up for the HTC Vive where you’ll find yourself in a cube-based world, forced to punch your way out through thousands of enemies.

I don’t own an HTC Vive, but even if I haven’t had the possibility to try the game, I can easily say that it’s gonna be really addictive. Take a look at the gameplay if you don’t trust me.

Good luck guys!

Xamarin: Text-to-Speech on iOS

hi All!

Almost a month has passed since the last time I wrote a post. Many things are happening in my life and unfortunately I can’t study anymore all the time I was used to.

Luckly the last few days I had the chance to install Xamarin Studio on my Macbook Pro and play a little bit. What a relief!

I spent a while trying to understand the interface (sorry but I’m used to Visual Studio, my bad) then I started thinking what could have been a nice thing to prototype. At the end I decided to start with text-to-speech. Why? Because I love the way my dog moves her head when I have my Mac calling her name 😀

I uploaded a sample on GitHub, as you can see the UI is pretty simple, just type the text and press “play”:


The core of the sample is in the TextToSpeech class which makes use an instance of AVSpeechSynthesizer , not exactly rocket science.

I am planning to add some customisation, like the ability to change pitch/tone and culture, so stay tuned 🙂

Dell Limerick Hackathon 2016

Hi everybody!

Last January we had an Hackathon here @ Dell Limerick, the main theme was “office productivity”, aka “how would you improve your and your coworker’s productivity”.

I was in a team with other 4 very smart guys, didn’t won but all in all it was a terrific experience…two days straight of brainstorming and coding madness combined with pizza and energy drinks.

The winners came up with an interesting prototype of a chat bot running as Lync addon that can answer every type of question, from “how’s the weather” to “who broke the last build?”, passing from “tell me about story 1234567”. I can’t go too deep in the details (also, lots of natural language analysis is involved) but it was definitely a very, very interesting project and really deserved to win.

My team instead…well we produced a voting platform for ideas. In a nutshell, every user registered to the community can post his ideas (which can be divided into macro-areas) and the others can vote it using points they have received when registering. If an idea is approved, the voters will get back the points and a small bonus. If an idea is cancelled instead, they will get the points back (but no bonus).

It was a cool project to work on, we used a very simple micro-service CQRS architecture running on AngularJS, WebApi and MongoDB. Oh and everything was hosted on Azure.

After the contest, we decided to release all the sources, you can find them on my GitHub repository.


Installing RetroPie on your Raspberry Pi

I have an “old” Raspberry Pi model A collecting dust on my desk.

“What can I do with you?”, I asked him one day.
“I want to be beautiful”, he answered.
“You will be my precious…”

And this is how I started working on what will (one day, eventually) became a wonderful home-made arcade cabinet 😀

First thing I have done is installing the software, so after some googling I found this nice linux distro called “RetroPie” . In order to have it up and running, as it’s usual in the linux world, there are some steps that need to be followed…..

Assuming you have downloaded the RetroPie img and copied it on a SD, the first step is expanding the filesystem to the entire SD:

sudo raspi-config

you need to reboot after that:

sudo reboot

then make sure everything is updated:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo rpi-update

next step is to run the Retropie setup, so go to the /home/pi/RetroPie-Setup/ folder and run

sudo ./

at this point you may choose to install the binaries or the sources. I guess it all depends on how much time you have at disposal 😀

now you’re almost done, all you have to do is copying the rom files to the SD and start playing! There’s a nice guide about it, just pick the method you like most 🙂

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