Monday, April 25, 2011

Quick Access to Mac Dictionary

Sometimes you want to know the word definition but don't want to navigate to a website to know what it really means. So, here is keyboard shortcut that will help you a lot faster to get what you need.

1) Hover your mouse pointer over the word you wish to be defined (works in Safari, Mail and other Apple apps). I haven't tried in all of them yet.

2) Press control + Apple Command + D. The word will be highlighted and a Dictionary pop up box will show in the screen with the word definition.

3) Click anywhere in the screen to get rid of that pop up box.

There is also another approach to this using a very cool app called Alfred. Alfred is a must-have productivity tool that lets you automate a lot of things. You can also use Alfred to give you the word definition by just calling the Alfred utility (I use control + space bar) and then typing define and the word you want. The word definition should be presented on the screen for you.

Alfred has so many functions (no need to say that I'm a big Alfred fan already) but that would be a topic for another post.

Monday, April 18, 2011

How to Show Hidden Files in Finder

Just found this great tip on David Valeri's blog ( If you ever wonder how to show hidden files in Mac OS X Finder here is the procedure to enable it:

Open a new Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal) window and type:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

and to disable it:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

Don't forget to restart Finder after you enable/disable this setting.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


While it has been an incredible ride at OpenSpan so far, I've decided to take a different route on my career and come back to the integration and messaging space. I'll be joining FuseSource as a Solutions Consultant next week.

FuseSource provides enterprise support for its open source core products, Apache ServiceMix, ActiveMQ, Camel and CXF, as well as providing products to better enable production deployment and management around those projects like the new FUSE IDE for Camel.

I'd like to take a moment to thank all the great minds at OpenSpan and wish them the best. I know that sometimes it's hard and disappointing to see someone that you trust and have lots of confidence on just go but this new opportunity in my life is well aligned with what I envision for the future.

On the other hand, I'm extremely excited to join another fast-growing company and also to be back into the integration & messaging space where most of my background is after more than 10 years working with Progress Sonic products.

There are many aspects that motivated me to make an early move and I really hope I can prove all of them to be true.

I'll be transitioning the content of this blog to more enterprise integration, open source, java and other topics and I hope you follow along.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Power of the Contextual Help

I spent this week onsite in Baltimore helping a customer architect some automation scenarios where the goal of this exercise was not only to reduce the average handling time of the contact center agents but also make them more productive and provide better customer service.

One of the issues we identified during the discovery phase of this project was the lack of ability of the users to recognize customers with flagged accounts or important alerts to need to be reviewed when get in touch with the contact center.

The current system provides a black triangle image close to the right corner of the screen while the account information is on the left corner. Ha! Don't get me wrong but who in the world designed a condition like that?
Something that has to be brought to the agent's attention in black on a gray background. Nah! It's not gonna work.

Frankly, now I understand why these agents were not able to check that alert and keep that in mind during the call or take action according to the information provided there. They couldn't see it. Agents working all day long taking calls and in front of their computers with the exact same applications all day start not recognizing small changes. It's a fact! You gotta do something better and give them a better experience if you want to have a better customer service.

So, we fixed that issue... and more than that... We didn't change a line of code on their systems.
OpenSpan has a very nice capability to recognize when a control (button, image, textbox, dropbox, etc) is created, changed, clicked or whatever happens with it.
OpenSpan also has a method called ShowToolTip which works for Windows and Web applications.
The quick solution to the issue described here was to combine these two OpenSpan capabilities.
To give you some details, when the agent was getting the account information for the call we setup an event "listening" for the alert image creation on the screen. As soon as we recognize that condition we then read the Outer HTML property of that image because that would be the text displayed on our tooltip and finally display the tooltip for 10 seconds. In a non-intrusive way we brought the agent's attention to where we needed so they could see the alert without clicking on anything and kept working on their call without any interruption.
What colors we decided to use??? Well, we decided to do it in OpenSpan Orange-like and since we were in Baltimore why not to say that was an Orioles sponsored tool tip.

It came out similar to this:

There are so many use cases for an implementation like that. From process guidance to bringing the agent's attention to certain aspects and everything in between.

If you're interested about the tooltip capability take a look on the OpenSpan Online Documentation available here.

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