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Seijiro Ikeda :: Blog

July 25, 2009

This week was different from the others, with a rainy weather and tons of work to do for my project I didn’t have any other choice than to stay at home working all day long. We are approaching to our final lap in this intensive yet fun and educational project. 





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July 20, 2009

During this week I spent most of the time working on the white paper for my project. On Saturday Prf. Estaban invited us to the international Animation Festival, which is hosted in Rio once a year. We saw short animations from a variety of countries, such as France, Brazil, and the United States. The festival featured a variety of interesting and up-and-coming directors, writers, editors, and animators and their latest work. We then, went to the Navy Museum in Downtown Rio, which was pretty close to the Festival. Once we were there, we were able to go into a submarine that was used by the Brazilian Navy up to a couple of years ago.

Here are some pictures of the Navy Museum:





On Sunday, we were invited by Prof. Esteban Clua, his wife and two of his students to hike one of the highest mountains in Rio de Janeiro, Pico da Tijuca. From the top of this mountain one can see all of Rio; it has 1,060 meters of height, which is remarkable when taking into consideration the fact that Rio is on sea level.  It was a long, difficult, and almost painful hike, but fun indeed. Later that day we got to go to the world reknown Maracana Stadium, one of the biggest stadiums in the world and where Pele scored his one thousand goal more than a decade ago. We stayed for the game between two local teams and it was one of the most vibrant places i have ever been. The energy from the fans was contagious and now I understand why Brazilians love soccer so much; it is in their blood, it is part of their culture, and their families, they live soccer, they feel it in every sense of the word, and they invite others to enjoy it as well. This has to be one of the best experiences I have ever lived.

Here are some pictures of the hiking at the Pico da Tijuca and the Maracana Stadium:










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July 14, 2009

During this week we were able to finalize the police background check required by the Brazilian Embassy at the Federal Police Department here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I have to say this process was a little bit painful since their management system is very slow and very unorganized. I took us 3 full days (Friday, Monday and Tuesday), which usually it’s a process that would take 3-4 hour in the United States. I will post here the requirement from the Federal Police Department for the future student that will be coming to Brazil:

-    Original from signed by the Brazilian Embassy (This is provided and stapled in your Passport when you get your Brazilian Visa)
-    Copy of every used page in your Passport (From previous flights, first and last page and most important the page that has your Brazilian Visa, otherwise you’ll have to spend an extra day at the Federal Police Department). After you make these copies you will need to have them notarize.
-    2 (3x4) pictures with white background. (Make sure it’s 3x4 and white background, otherwise you’ll have a bad day)
-    Fill out the form provided at the Federal Police Department. (Make sure the names matches in both forms and passport, the Original Form provided by the embassy, the form that you will be filling out and of course your passport, otherwise you’ll have a really bad day going to the embassy here is Brazil just to get your documents recheck; this will take you almost a day since you have to take a taxi/bus to a far location in Rio de Janeiro plus the endless lines that you’ll have to make).
-     Pay two Tax tickets fees for the Niteroi Fedral Police Department, which you could find here (www.dpf.gov.br). After you fill out these two forms online and have them print out, you need to pay them at any local bank and have them stamped.

             1) Code: 140082 = $R 64,58 > Registration fee.
             2) Code: 140120 = $R 124,23 > C.I.E.

-     After you present all these prerequisites, you will need to get your fingerprints done at the Federal Police Department.

After we were done with this painful process, we headed out to Catholic University, also known as PUC Rio. Here Prof. Esteban Clua had a meeting/speech. During his meeting, we had the opportunity to walk around the facility and get to know a different university. This university is very well known and also ranked as one of the best universities in Brazil, also very expensive. Here are some pictures of the facility:







After Prof. Clua's meeting, we headed out to Petrobras, short for Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., which is a semi-public Brazilian multinational energy company headquartered in Rio de Janeiro. I will provide a little history about this company:

Petrobras is the largest company in Latin America by market cap and revenue, and the largest company headquartered in the Southern Hemisphere. The company was founded in 1953, mainly due to the efforts of Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas. While the company ceased to be Brazil's legal monopolist in the oil industry in 1997, it remains a significant oil producer, with output of more than 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, as well as a major distributor of oil products. The company also owns oil refineries and oil tankers. Petrobras is a world leader in development of advanced technology from deep-water and ultra-deep water oil production.

Petrobras controls significant oil and energy assets in 18 countries in Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Asia. These holdings as well as properties in Brazil give it total assets of $133.5 billion. Petrobras is Latin America's largest company, thanks to 2008 sales of $118.3 billion, according to a ranking from Latin Business Chronicle over Latin America's Top 500 Companies.

Since they didn’t let me take pictures for obvious reasons, I won’t be able to show you the inside of Petrobras, but I did take a picture with one of the employees outside the facilities:


And to finalize this week, Professor Esteban Clua who invited us to Buzios & Cabo Frio. To get to this wonderful place you have to take a 3-4 hours trip on a bus and from here we had to take a 45 min boat ride to get to the virgin islands. There you can find the best beaches in Brazil. Unfortunately you can’t appreciate it from the pictures and also because the weather was cloudy, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the virgin islands and the beautiful town of Buzios. Here are some pictures of the trip:





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July 02, 2009

Starting the 4th week here in Brazil, Prof. Esteban Clua took us to Cristo Redentor, a.k.a Super-Jesus. Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue stands 30 metres (98 ft) wide and 38 metres (120 ft) tall with its pedestal. It weighs 635 tons (700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700 metres (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro. It is one of the tallest of its kind in the world. A symbol of Christianity, the statue has become an icon of Rio and Brazil. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is a very important symbol of Brazil's Christianity. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone.

Brief History:

The idea for erecting a large statue atop Corcovado was first suggested in the mid 1850s, when Catholic priest Pedro Maria Boss requested financing from Princess Isabel to build a large religious monument. Princess Isabel did not think much of the idea and it was completely dismissed in 1889, when Brazil became a Republic, with laws mandating the separation of church and state. The second proposal for a large landmark statue on the mountain was made in 1921 by the Catholic Circle of Rio. The group organized an event called Semana do Monumento ("Monument Week") to attract donations and collect signatures to support the building of the statue. The donations came mostly from Brazilian Catholics. The designs considered for the "Statue of the Christ" included a representation of the Christian cross; The statue of Christ the Redeemer with open arms was chosen.

A personal thought is that the statue is just breathtaking and the view is spectacular. It really was a great experience and I would like to thank Dr. Clua one more time for taking us around Rio and all its wonderful places. Here are some pictures from the trip to Cristo Redentor:



After that, on Monday I started finalizing my project, which was due on Tuesday. After this we had a conference call with our project manager (Chad Gniffke), he will be reviewing our project and giving us feedback on Monday, which we’ll kick off with the next phase. The following contents were covered and completed:

    * Competitors Overview
    * Product Offering
    * Internationally Available and Where
    * Support Process
    * Social Community Offering
    * Sales and Distribution Method
    * Pricing
    * Messaging & Marketing
    * Value Proposition
    * Technology
          o Their own
          o Third-Party including open source
    * Deployment
    * Feature Set Overview
    * User Interface Consistency
    * Unique Features
    * Strengths
    * Weaknesses
    * Automation Capabilities
    * Virtualized Network Wants and Needs
    * Integration with Other Products
    * Service Offering
          o Education
          o Consulting
          o IT Services
    * Media (Competitor Videos)


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June 26, 2009

On Sunday we went to an amazing beach called "Itacoatiara" with come local friends. With very nice waves for surfers and a breathtaking view of the mountains on each side of the beach, it really was a great experience. Here are some pictures:
























After a great day at the beach on Sunday, and finally getting Internet in out Flat Hotel I started to concentrate more on my project, making major progress. This hold week I dedicated all my days on this project since the due date is getting closer and closer. I would say about 85% is done and it feels great, but even better getting it done here in Brazil.

Since I've been working on this project non stop on this project I really didn't have time to get to know the city as I would like to, but I'm pretty sure once this is done we will have plenty of time to do so, plus the weather these days hasn't been that good anyways. Here are some pictures of the places that we went for Lunch and Dinner. Ohhh by the way, I have to say that the best "Italian Pizza" is the Brazilian Pizza, there is no way you can get a better Pizza than the ones that they make here, but anyways... here are some pictures:


Pizzas: I forgot the names of the Pizzas after the 3rd slide. They keep bringing us more and more and every slide was different from the previous one, and of course the taste was awesome.  







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June 23, 2009


2nd Week – (Monday). Since the access to the Post-Grad students laboratory is private, the administrator had to get our fingerprints for the machine in order to give us access to the laboratory. Here is where we get access to the Internet and managed to accomplish all our assignments. The room is small compared to the ones at FIU, all computers are restricted only for PhD. Students and staff, therefore, we had to use our own laptops. After a full day catching up with my project, I went back to the apartment and personally talked to the administrator to get us Internet service in our apartment. This couldn’t be done until Wednesday, 06/17/09.








2nd Week – (Tuesday). We had a meeting/class with Erick Passos and Gabriel Gazolla. The class was an introduction for GPUs. We went over “CUDA”, which is basically an IDE Platform for building/compiling GPUs code/programs. Here I will attach the presentation provided by Gabriel Gazolla, you can download it from my DropBox account at: 



After that, I finally was back to civilization since we got internet service at our apartment. This second weekend would be the official week where I actually had the tools to work on my Kaseya project. From this date I started working on my project.

2nd Week – (Thursday & Friday). Basically these two days, including the weekend I’ve been working on the Kaseya project, getting everything ready for Chad Gniffke.



We still haven't found any place where the food isn't great! Everywhere we go, even the cheapest place the food is awesome. One of the best restaurants so far is called "Berbigao", which is located right in front of the beach. They specialize in seafood, from fish, shirmps, lobsters, etc. Other restaurants close have a well variety and everything is priced by the weight. Here are some pictures of the restaurant and dishes that we ordered:





















The same weekend after a great meal at the restaurant "Berbigao", Erick Passos took us to "Parque da Cidad" (City Park), which is a ViewPoint in Niteroi and we were able to see the hold city and most of the beaches here in Niteroi. The view is spectacular and the weather is just a good as the view. With many local turist, great view and a good cafeteria, this was a really nice experience to all of us. After that we finished the day at the "Shopping Plaza" (Mall). Here are some pictures :


















After 10 days without Internet in out Flat Hotel, we finally went back to civilization on Trhusday, 06/18/09. From here I managed to get back on track to my Kaseya Project. 





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June 15, 2009

I have to say that I wasn't expecting such a nice experience, and so far it's only the 6th day here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We arrived here on June 9th and since then every single day has been great. With all the new friends here in Brazil, specially Professor Esteban Clua and Erick Passos, makes the difference when you are an abroad student and don’t know the place and their culture very well. The attention with us is priceless, really serviceable and very attentive with everything that we need.  Thank you very much.

The school here is kind of small compared to FIU, but that is good since we don’t have to walk that much. Everything is nice, starting with the Cafeteria; the foot here taste awesome and it’s cheap. I wish FIU could have this type of cafeteria... Again, their service is great, attention is very nice and people here are very friendly, even though we have problem communicating, sometimes they still understand… well…sort of… lol.

Also our place is beautiful is called (Boa Viagem Flat Service), it’s accommodating with one bathroom, one bedroom with two single beds, a leaving room, balcony and an small kitchen, really nice location, great view and really close to the University and “Super Market”… Food price is sort of the same as Miami, I but can’t complain with the quality, I think is better here, at least it taste better.  =-)

And to conclude with my first blog, I will attach some pictures here. Thanks to Prof. Esteban and Erick, we had the opportunity to go to different places around Niteroi and Rio de Janeiro, enjoy:


Our Flat Hotel




 View at Night


 View #01


 Beautiful View #02














 Living Room














UFF Main Entrance


Computer Science Department


 Computer Institude Department


 Workstations Room


 Working with Erick Passos (PhD. Student)




 Receiving instructions from Prof. Esteban Clua


 Discussing future porject about GPUs


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