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Bobby Montalvo :: Blog

July 06, 2010

This weekend I went to the Picasso Museum and the beach. The Picasso Museum is free the first Sunday of every month, so if you find yourself in Barcelona during that time, I highly recommend checking it out. Even though admission is free, the museum makes you stand in line to get a ticket. I got to the museum around noon, and the line to enter the museum was already around the corner. I would suggest trying to get there earlier (like 10am) or after 2pm. On my way to the museum, I came across a really cool park. I enjoyed all of the things I saw on my way to the museum almost as much as the museum itself. Below are pictures from that day. My camera ran out of batteries just as I got to the museum, so I don't have many pictures...

This was just outside of the Metro station on my way to the Picasso Musuem. Most of the pictures below are from Cuitadella Park. The day I was there, they had a free jazz concert near the pavillion.

These last two pictures below are from when I went to the beach. The W Hotel, in the picture below has an amazing lounge on the 26th floor (opens at 7pm) that overlooks the whole city. Drinks are a bit pricey, but the view makes it worth the price.

Keywords: Barcelona, Cuitadella Park

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June 29, 2010

This week I visited Parc Guell which is in the north western hills of Barcelona. The views of the city from the park were spectacular. What makes this park interesting is all of the architecture was designed by Antoni Gaudi. There is a small house in the park that Gaudi once lived in, but has since been converted into a museum. The museum contains furniture that was built by Gaudi as well.

There is a Metro stop near the park, but it still takes about 20 minutes to walk to the entrance from the Metro. The last leg of that walk is a pretty steep walk uphill, so sandals are not recommended (I found this out the hard way). On my way walking to the park, I stopped at a restaurant to have a quick bite to eat. I ordered the paella there, but it was not very good. I wouldn't exactly say it was bad, but for 12 euro I thought it was going to better than it was. It has been my experience here in Spain that the touristy areas have the most expensive and the least appetizing food. If you find yourself hungry in a touristy area, I would recommend eating at a small sandwich shop over a big restaurant. The food is probably going to be better at the small shop and cost about 1/3 as much.

Here are some of the pictures I took that day at Parc Guell:

This is the entrance to the park.

This last photo is the view from the park's summit. You can see all of Barcelona from here.

 

 

Keywords: Barcelona, Gaudi, Parc Guell

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June 21, 2010

Since eating out in Barcelona every night can be quite expensive, I made dinner at the apartment this week. I made some whole wheat pasta and a homemade tomato sauce. I also made meatballs, but I feel that the sauce was actually better without the meat. I spent about 6 euros making this meal, which fed my roommate and I, plus we had plenty of leftovers. Compare that with spending at least double that for a meal at a restaurant for just myself. Below are pictures of the meal:

 

I also made my way around Placa de Catalunya this week. This area is very popular with tourists and the architecture of the buildings in the area is amazing. In the center of the Placa there is a park that has fountians and a bunch of statues. I was only able to take a few pictures before my camera died, but I plan on going back to this area soon, so I will put more pictures up eventually. Here are the pictures I took so far:

 

 

 

Keywords: Barcelona, Placa de Catalunya

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June 14, 2010

This week I visited Montjuic, which is in the Southwest part of Barcelona. Despite the name, Montjuic is actually a hill and not a mountain. I spent the whole day walking around Montjuic in my sandals. I don't recommend taking really long walks in sandals, by the end of the day my feet were really sore.

 Here are some pictures from my trip:

The Palau Nacional

This first picture is of The Palau Nacional, which is an art museum.

 

The Olympic Needle

This is the Olympic Needle, located near the venue of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

 

Below are just some pictures that I took while walking around Montjuic. I am not sure what the names are for some of these places, so I won't bother trying to guess.

Montjuic1

Montjuic2

Montjuic3

Montjuic4

Montjuic5

Montjuic6

Montjuic7

Montjuic8

 

Also, this weekend I met up with some friends and visited an area of Barcelona called El Born. It is located near the center of the city, close to Placa de Catalunya. There are a bunch of restaurants and bars in the area as well as some really interesting architecture. There is a restaurant there called Set de Born where I had the best food that I have eaten so far in Spain. The beef carpaccio was excellent, the selection of cured meats and cheeses was very extensive. My friends and I ordered random dishes from the menu and everything we ordered was exquisite. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Barcelona not only because of the amazing food, but because it is in an area that most tourists never get a chance to visit. I wish I had brought my camera when I visited the restaurant, but I plan on eating there again before I leave. Then I will post pictures and have more details about the food I ate.

Here is the address to the restaurant: 

Set de Born

C/ Esparteria, 7, 08003 Barcelona

933 193 531

 

Keywords: Barcelona, El Born, Montjuic, Olympic Needle, PIRE 2010

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June 07, 2010

This week I met with Dr. Figueras at the UPC and he provided me with a space to conduct my research. Everyone I've met in his department has been very friendly and helpful in making me feel at home. Below is a picture of me in my workspace at UPC:

P6040015

 The department I am studying in (Electronics Engineering Department) is on the 9th floor of the Engineering building here at UPC. From my office window, I can see the Mediterranean and Camp Nou stadium, which is largest stadium in Europe (11th largest in the world).

Here are some pictures of the view from my office window (Camp Nuo is in the first one):

View 1

View 2

View 3

On Saturday my roommate and I walked around the west side of the city for most of the day. We came across a cool little restaurant where we sat down to have some tapas and cervezas:

Tapas

The dish on the bottom is called Patatas Bravas - fried potatoes served with a sriracha-like sauce and mayonaise.  The top dish is Pulpo la Gallega (Galician Octopus) which is simply sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and paprika. Both were excellent. The beer we drank, Estrella Damm, is a locally-brewed Catalan Pilsner. 

Salud

 

Keywords: Barcelona, Camp Nuo, tapas, UPC

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June 01, 2010

 

When we first arrived in Barcelona, we took a the subway to our apartment. After we dropped off our bags at the apartment, we went sight-seeing. Among the places we visited were the beach, the Marina, Catalunya Plaza, and a beautiful church called Sagrada Familia. While we were at Catalunya Plaza, we stopped at a restaurant to have lunch where we all shared a big pot of paella. The paella contained shrimp, crawfish, sausage, calamari, and octopus. It was very filling and very delicious too.

Below are videos from Sagrada Familia.

 

 

Here are a few travel tips when visiting Barcelona:

  1. Buy a weekly (or better yet, monthly) metro pass. This pass grants you access to the subways and busses around town. Barcelona is a big city and this pass has proven to be invaluable.
  2. Remeber that supermarkets are closed on Sundays so be sure to stock up before then. Restaurants are still open on Sunday though.
  3. Bring comfortable shoes. Almost every street here is on some sort of slope so comfortable footwear is a must.
  4. When riding on the bus, the front seats are reserved for the disabled and the elderly.
  5. When using escalators and stairs in the subway, allow faster traffic to pass on the left. This may be obvious, but it wasn't to me when I arrived.
  6. Shopping carts cost 1 euro to rent at the supermarket so bring your own shopping bags to avoid this fee.

Keywords: Barcelona, Travel Tips

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May 05, 2010

Supervisor’s Name and Title at FAU: Prof. Eduardo Fernandez 

Name of the PIRE International Partner’s Institution: Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya 

Supervisor’s Name and Title at the PIRE International Partner’s Institution: Prof. Joan Figueras Pamies 

Project Title: Patterns for Fault-Tolerant and Safe Cloud Computing 

Problem Statement: I intend to study patterns for fault-tolerant and safe cloud computing. These patterns are clearly important for healthcare applications, e.g. patient monitoring, and Electronic Health Record availability, one of the directions of the PIRE project. They are important as well for the lower layers. In particular, clouds and services can be implemented using grid computing. It is clear that those layers need a fault-tolerant and highly-available architecture. Clouds need also operating system for virtualization, which needs to be highly available. Our group has developed patterns for some of those aspects and for security [Fer09], including patterns for fault-tolerant web services, e.g. [Buc09a,b].  

Motivation and Impact: The motivation behind this project is the need for a comprehensive catalog, where designers can find the required patterns along the lifecycle stages. During my stay at UPC I will build a catalog of fault tolerance and safety patterns, implemented in the web so that it can become an open and general resource for system designers. 

Current Status: For this patterns project, we will use a classification proposed in joint work of our group [Van09]. Related work is listed below: 

[Buc09a] I.A.Buckley and E.B.Fernandez, "Three patterns for fault tolerance" , Procs. of the OOPSLA MiniPLoP, October 26, 2009  

[Buc09b] I. Buckley, E.B.Fernandez, G.Rossi, and M. Sadjadi, "Web services reliability patterns", Procs. of the 21st International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE'2009), Boston, July 1-3, 2009, 4-9.

 
[Fer09] E. B. Fernandez, K. Hashizume, I. Buckley, M. M. Larrondo-Petrie, and M. VanHilst, "Web services security: Standards and products",  to appear in "Web Services Security Development and Architecture: Theoretical and Practical Issues", Carlos A. Gutierrez, Eduardo Fernandez-Medina, and Mario Piattini (Eds.), IGI Global Group 2010. 

[Van09] M. VanHilst, E.B.Fernandez, and F. Braz, "A multidimensional classification for users of security patterns", Journal of Research and Practice in Information Technology, vol. 41, No 2, May 2009, 87-97. 

Research Roadmap: My research roadmap is still under construction and I apologize for not having it ready at this time; however I believe there is a high likelihood of the results of my research to be published. I will be working very closely with my advisor, Dr. Fernandez, to ensure that my results are publishable. Dr. Figueras (UPC) is a friend of my advisor and they have collaborated before.

Keywords: PIRE 2010, Proposal

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