Posts

  • No thanks. Not now. Not ever.
    It is really amazing how Twitter tries to remind you to enable notifications. But I am good at declining things.
  • Awful ICICIDirect phone support
    Just this afternoon, I shared an anecdote about how, in 2021, it is still painful to generally access customer support across the board. As fate would have it, I had to call a company called https://www.icicidirect.com/, and I did run into the exact icky situation I was ranting about. Here is the transcript: 0:02 – Welcome to ICICI Direct 0:05 – Thank you for calling us0:10 – Terrible music starts(Terrible music continues for nearly 6 minutes while I hoped that someone will attend to me. But alas!)06:04 – Terrible music ends with a Goodbye! Here is the full audio clip…
  • Contacting companies is still cumbersome in 2021
    I am just reading the print edition of the August/September issue of the Rural Living magazine (online edition here). The following editorial piqued my interest and confirmed what I know is generally true with most customer support. Although this article is aimed at New Zealand businesses, anecdotally, I know the state of customer support elsewhere is not drastically different. It is an excellent opportunity for clever companies to genuinely value customer support, make it easier for customers to contact them, and bring their business to them instead of dealing with an apathetic competitor who won’t listen and is inaccessible to…
  • A few cool Mac apps I use
    It’s been a few years since I wrote about the Itsycal calendar app that I use on my Mac. It still is the default time and calendar app on my Mac’s menu bar. Here are a few more cool Mac apps that I use and love. Clocker Clocker displays time from additional time zones on Mac’s menu bar or as a floating panel. In my work, I look up UTC time a lot, and so I set up UTC time on Clocker to show it on the menu bar. You can also click on the menu bar to expand the…
  • iPhone upgrade
    I woke up to the new iPhone dubbed as iPhone 13. It is as gorgeous and amazing as every other iPhone before it. I’d love to buy the iPhone Mini, but both the original iPhone SE and iPhone 7 in the house, which I bought in 2016, are still going great for my needs, so I chose to delay the gratification. The iPhone SE is a bit flaky, and I anticipate upgrading it sooner than the iPhone 7. I hope to hold on for two more years with my now five-year-old iPhone 7 and upgrade to iPhone 15 in two…
  • Got my first Covid vaccine jab today!
    Today, on the tenth day of the current lockdown, I got my first vaccination jab done! We just walked into the local vaccination centre, and they have spaces! My age group wasn’t eligible to book until this week. When I tried to book my vaccination earlier this week the latest slot I could book is six weeks away. After booking my slot, today, I got a message saying I can book the vaccine. Clearly, something is off with the booking system. Despite booking for October, we decided to try walking into one of the two vaccination centres in the neighbourhood.…
  • Level 4 lockdown anticipation
    With a community case detected this afternoon in Auckland, the Level 4 rush begins, for which I’m contributing as well. The roads and supermarket aisles and check out lines are busier for a Tuesday afternoon. (This post is brought to you from the supermarket checkout line with a moderately full trolley.) Fingers crossed, we won’t have a lockdown. We will know in a few hours.
  • Fifteen of the 100 little ideas
    My blogging friend and coworker Nick shared this list of 100 Simple Truths in a recent post on his blog. I love reading such lists because you find some ideas you identify yourself with and also: In quoting others, we cite ourselves. Julio Cortázar Following is a selection of the fifteen ideas that I highlighted in my Kindle as I read through those 100 ideas. My thoughts are in brackets. 1. It’s 100% off if you don’t buy it. (I use this trick to postpone or avoid vanity purchases.) 10. Be happy with what you have, while you work for…
  • A new quote on this blog!
    The Quotes page on this blog is one of my favorites. On it, I list some principles that resonate with me. I just reordered the quotes and added this quote. All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone. Blaise Pascal I think this quote is similar to the importance of the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) principle that I believe I first learned from It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. I am also deliberately practicing this quote and JOMO right now in my life.
  • Mid-year update on my 2021 workouts
    I exercised 25 of the 28 weeks so far this year. Overall, I skipped ten workouts and exerted myself 70 times at three workouts per week. I am happy with the volume of my physical effort so far. I am looking forward to keeping this pace through the rest of the year. I will likely miss another 10-12 workouts before December because life happens! Yet, I anticipate I will exercise at least 60 more times before the end of the year. I look forward to reaching the end of this year with my usual annual average of 120-130 workouts. Then…
  • Ask iOS Apps Not to Track
    Today I got some interesting prompts when I opened the Twitter app. But first, you can disable these prompts for all apps by toggling off Allow Apps to Request to Track from Settings > Privacy as following: Back to the prompts, it is funny how Twitter framed their prompts as if it is doing something beneficial to me, and even offering some choice. No thanks, Twitter.
  • Importance of emergency fund
    I am re-reading Morgan Housel’s The Psychology of Money this year and I highly recommend this book to everyone! There are many nuggets of money wisdom in that book. I try hard to resist my urge to share everything I read and learned from this cool book. But today I read the following that reminded me why I save personally: no reason. Save. Just save. You don’t need a specific reason to save. Saving for things that are impossible to predict or define is one of the best reasons to save. Savings that aren’t earmarked for anything in particular is…
  • Reading books: quality over quantity
    Out of the 11 books in my this year’s reading list, I already read five books in the last few years and some just the last year: What I learned by losing a million dollars. The Psychology of Money. Atomic Habits. Style: the basics of clarity and grace. The Customer Service Survival Kit. I am going to re-read them all this year. The year-end lists of books read by some people I follow are really long! And I only read a handful of books for the past two years (2019 and 2020). While I am cool with the amount of…
  • 3 Goods. 4 Givings.
    We recently visited the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple. While in the temple, I noticed this concept of 3 Goods and 4 Givings. I liked how actionable the 4 Givings are relative to the 3 Goods.
  • The best definition of Risk I found on the internet
    Carl Richards says “Risk is what’s left when you think you’ve thought of everything.” The Big Lessons of the Last Year.Apr 2, 2021 by Morgan Housel
  • Surprising thing about surprising things.
    Daniel Kahneman says that when you experience a surprise the correct takeaway is not to assume that event will happen again; it’s to accept that the world is surprising.  The Big Lessons of the Last Year.Apr 2, 2021 by Morgan Housel
  • Being frugal with gadgets
    I’m writing this on the iPhone 7 I bought in October 2016. The first generation iPhone SE I bought in April 2016 still works just fine. I have a first generation iPad Air I bought late 2013. It works for my limited needs. My laptop is my employer-bought mid-2015 Mac Book Pro; it is still going. Although I must add I got a free battery and keyboard replacement in 2019 on Apple. I’m long eligible for an upgrade. I can buy and expense the highest-spec latest Mac Book Pro right now. But I’d like to get the current mid-2015 laptop…
  • Thoughts after the fourth lockdown.
    Today in Auckland, New Zealand, the Prime Minister announced that the fourth lockdown we entered into from 6 am last Sunday (27th February) would be lifted at 6 am on the coming Sunday (7th March). I am cautiously rejoicing the news. This is the fourth lockdown since the main lockdown started in March 2020. The second one after that, in August 2020, was surprising; my phone got an emergency alert when I was sleeping, and that really shocked me! Two more mini lockdowns later, I am now convinced that another lockdown could hit anytime! Even this current one, which is announced…
  • This cross-app crap is coming 😬
    Found this recently in the dummy Facebook account I use for testing.
  • Timely Advice for Lockdown 4
    Earlier this afternoon I realized today is day 2 of Level 3 lockdown 4 for the 1 community case we got on Saturday evening. Yes, we got into Level 3 lockdown again since 6 am last Sunday. The lockdown was announced on the Saturday evening, literally within an hour since I was roaming in the city center, peeked into a few bars and restaurants and felt everything was just great and lively! I dropped by the Giapo store, ordered Nothing Else Matters ice cream and then while I was enjoying it, I heard the news of the lockdown. I decided…
  • Lockdown — third wave
    We had another —third so far—lockdown in Auckland from Valentine’s Day’s midnight, but luckily it lasted only three days as initially stipulated. Auckland went from Level 1 to Level 3, 4 being most restrictive. The rest of New Zealand stayed at Level 1. I was stressed not because the lockdown was abrupt but because it aggravated my ongoing low spirit due to sluggish progress on the two big, long-term plans for 2021 and beyond. Plus, it also upset the plans I had for my weekly off days. But in the end, we eased one level down by Wednesday midnight, and…
  • Lessons from “What I learned by losing a million dollars” book: issue 1
    In the July of 2020, I read What I learned by losing a million dollars book. I blogged a quote that I loved from that book. But there are many nuggets of wisdom and life lessons in the three chapters in the second section of the book titled Lessons Learned. While this book is about the author’s personal story of how he lost money in the US stock markets, I think the psychological processes he explained in chapters 5, 6, and 7 are universal and equally applies to life as well. i.e. if we swap the words business and markets with life in the…
  • Auckland Anniversary Day
    In 2010 I first landed in Auckland and instantly fell in love with the city. So much that I applied for permanent residency right in that first week. Like any worthy endeavors, some effort, some uncertainty, a bit of drama, and a lot of luck helped me realize my dream. In the end, it all worked out in my favor. In about 18 months since my first landing in the Auckland International Airport, I gained my permanent residency and eventually citizenship of this beautiful country, which helped me make this lovely city my permanent base. I’m not too fond of…
  • Books I read in 2020
    Here is the list of books I read in 2020, lifted from the Todoist Read project. Books with ♥️ are insightful reads that I’d like to revisit.
  • I voted today!
    I voted today! This is my fourth time voting in this country since 2011. Having voted once in 2009 in a third-world country amidst lot of unwarranted drama and hassle, I decided not to vote in similar situation again. But just after a year, in 2010, I got lucky and extricated myself from that corrupted environment. I have since enjoyed hassle-free voting at every possible opportunity in this wonderful country that I am fortunate to call home. Looking forward to the results on 6th November.
  • Lockdown update: back to freedom after 56.5 days
    I’m so glad that we as New Zealanders could contain the second wave of Covid-19 in 56.5 days since the last outbreak. Auckland will join the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 1 at 11:59pm today (Wednesday, 7 October). While that’s great news, this time I am cautiously optimistic. There is still COVID-19 in New Zealand; as of today, there are 37 active cases, albeit in managed isolation and quarantine facilities. That number is much smaller than many other countries, but it only takes a little bit of complacency to push us all into another lockdown. It may sound…
  • Definition of Expert
    Found and liked this definition of expert in James Clear‘s newsletter. The physicist Niels Bohr on what it takes to be an expert: “An expert is a person who has found out by painful experience all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field.” The oldest source I could find was “Dr. Edward Teller’s Magnificent Obsession” in LIFE magazine. September 6, 1954.
  • Lockdown returns
    Last night I woke up to this emergency alert: Auckland returned to lockdown alert level 3 since this noon: 12 noon on Wednesday 12 August. The rest of New Zealand moved to alert level 2. I was shocked because last night I went to sleep planning to make the most of today, which I took off from work for working last Sunday. I wasn’t following news and had no idea of events leading up to this second lockdown. So having to wake up in the middle of my sleep to the emergency beeper of my phone freaked me out. We…
  • (no title)
    Anytime you see a committee of more than ten, it isn’t the real committee. There’s a subcommittee somewhere making the decisions. Pg. 37, What I learned losing a million dollars I think this is very true in many settings.
  • 37
    Seven days ago I turned thirty-seven. I took the day off in lieu for working the previous Saturday. My wife took off from her work too. My wife and son surprised me with a couple of gifts, one of which is my favourite organic dark chocolate from a local co-op. Given the current world events, I did not feel too excited to venture anywhere outside our lovely neighbourhood. I spent the rest of the day with my wife and son, chatting together, playing video games, and eating out at our favourite places. I also spoke to my parents, brother, sister…
  • HEY, email spy!
    I am not surprised by this, but it feels weird to realize actually getting spied! I am sure there will be many more instances of spying and it feels normal over time, but here’s the first one for the record.
  • (no title)
    I realize in the tweet sent from my previous post I sounded like I sent a pre-populated tweet some services encourage you to share right after signing up for them. 😬 That tweet isn’t something HEY populated or nudged me to send. I should have written a personable custom message to go along with my previous post. Nevertheless, I am excited about signing up for HEY!
  • Hey, HEY!
    Last night I bought my @hey.com email address subscription after trying it for a few days. I have been following HEY ever since Jason gave a heads up earlier this year. Since this is from Basecamp, I knew it is going to be amazing and it is! I signed up as soon as I got an invite a few days ago and I loved everything about it: the onboarding, speed, features, simplicity and privacy. But most importantly, I subscribed to the HEY Manifesto and the principles of its principals Jason and DHH and their Small Tech company, Basecamp. I never…
  • Lockdown update: returning to normalcy
    New Zealand is moving to lockdown alert level 1 —and a return to mostly normalcy— from this midnight. Only border restrictions are in place. I am glad it is over! It won’t be as normal as before all this, and it is still important to follow the hygiene and physical distancing practices, but overall, given how broken the world is right now, I am grateful for where I am. I couldn’t be anywhere better! Here is the full timeline of New Zealand lockdown. God Defend New Zealand. Here is the summary of Covid-19 virus cases in New Zealand.
  • Fibre Ultra
    I upgraded my fibre internet to Fibre Ultra, technically called Gigabit fibre which has the advertised speeds of 900 Mbps down and 500 Mbps up. First, some backstory. My first fibre connection I got in 2018 was solid (Fibre 100 – 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up). After some time I grew unhappy with the puny 20 Mbps upload speed. I felt uplink could be better and so I upgraded in 2019 to Fibre 200 which doubled the download speed, but oddly enough it did not change the upload speed. So I saw no point in paying extra just…
  • Lockdown update: returning to routines
    After eight weeks of stricter levels (4 and then 3) of lockdown, things seem to be getting better. We are currently in level 2 and have been since Thursday. It is great to see people returning to the streets and generally going about their businesses. Today we went to our favourite cafe in the morning. As always, the baristas made great coffee. After that, we went to our favourite place in the neighbourhood and grabbed bread from our favourite bakery. In the afternoon I drove past a restaurant that’s usually crowded but was ghosted for the past many weeks. I…
  • Lockdown update: down to level 2 from Thursday
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today New Zealand would move from alert level 3 to level 2 at 11.59pm on the night of Wednesday 13 May; that’s seven weeks after we entered the strictest lockdown. On Thursday, 14 May, cafes, restaurants, libraries, gyms, malls, cinemas, tourism operators, and sports clubs can reopen. On Monday, 18 May, kids will be able to return to school. On Thursday, 21 May, bars will be able to open. I have no interest in bars, malls or cinemas. But I am looking forward to schools, cafes and libraries reopening soon. It is great to be…
  • Lockdown update: down to level 3
    New Zealand eased into a less severe Level 3 of lockdown today (from 00:00 on April 28th), after about five-and-half weeks of strict lockdown in Level 4 that started from 11:59 pm on March 25th. We are going to stay in Level 3 for two weeks until May 11th. On May 11th, the cabinet will announce the nation’s next step in the fight against Covid-19. In a great piece of news, the new Covid-19 cases over the past eight days remained in single digits. I am also delighted to see the overall number of infected New Zealanders in the sub-1500…
  • Lockdown updates
    Yesterday at 4 pm Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced that New Zealand would go one level down to level 3 from 11:59 pm on 28th April. We would further go down to level 2 from 11th May if the downtrend continues. It is so much relieving! I am impressed with how this country managed the outbreak in the world where many other first and third world countries have had appalling results. I never took it granted, and I have always been grateful to be living in this country, but more so in the present testing times. I couldn’t have lived…
  • Free Tutorial: Optimize Your Business Website — The Sensible Leader
    Originally posted on Kathryn Presner: Two weeks ago, my colleague Marjorie asked if I’d be interested in helping run a webinar for small businesses, with tips on getting the most out of their website. She knew I’d done a lot of public speaking and thought I might be interested. Even though we wouldn’t have a… Free Tutorial: Optimize Your Business Website — The Sensible Leader
  • Lockdown updates
    Yesterday marked two weeks since we are locked down. Today as we head into the Easter weekend I am excited about a few pieces of promising COVID-19 news: Lowest number (29) of COVID-19 cases since March 21. Tighter border controls, and mandatory quarantine for new arrivals since this midnight. And in a piece of more exciting news… Lockdown decision will be reviewed on April 20. I’m hoping lockdown will be eased to Level 3 and some level of routines will resume from April 28.
  • Two opinions on the PM
    Today I read two posts about the New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Arden and her government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. A praise: Three reasons why Jacinda Ardern’s coronavirus response has been a masterclass in crisis leadership and a critic: Should lockdown end early? I agree with both the opinions.
  • Pandemic thoughts
    It’s been two full weeks since I started worrying about Covid-19 pandemic. And we have three weeks of lockdown ahead. Like many of my generation, I haven’t seen anything like this before. Hopefully this is once-in-a-lifetime event and so I wanted to journal my thoughts in this post. That way, years later I don’t have to think hard to share the pandemic stories with my grandchildren. The pandemic By now it is needless to say we are experiencing unprecedented times around the world with this COVID-19 pandemic spreading fast in many countries. New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 4. Like…
  • How not to text your customers before the lockdown
    And so are your customers! Bummed to receive this patronising text from my LPG provider just before the lockdown. I don’t even need a gas bottle anytime soon! Surely, they can send an empathetic copy, to the customers who actually have upcoming orders?
  • Books I read in 2019
    Here is the list of books I read in 2019, lifted from the Todoist Read project. ♥️ are the books I enjoyed and learnt the most from and would love to revisit from time to time.
  • Text Message Forwarding on iOS
    A while ago I noticed that I am receiving texts only on my iPhone, but some texts don’t show up in the Messages app on either of my Macs. The texts I can’t see on my Macs are usually the two-factor authentication codes and other texts sent from the special three-digit phone numbers typically used by the businesses and other organizations. This felt odd because until some months ago I always used to receive ALL the messages on ALL my computers. So certainly something has changed. This problem meant that while working at my computer I have to walk to…
  • Twelve on Twitter
    Twitter helped learn a lot of things despite aggressively pushing its preferences at times. This post is my tribute to Twitter.
  • 2019 workouts
    Exercising is one of the foundational habits that I wanted to incorporate in my life. In 2014 I found a colleague who is passionate about personal training. He used to run exercise classes at my then workplace. He encouraged me to work out three times a week, became my accountability partner and have been since. Three hours a week seems to be just about the right volume of time and effort to be consistent with my exercise goals and make working out part of my lifestyle. Anything more than three times is a bonus. But I hardly ever worked out…
  • What’s in your soap?
    A few weeks ago I was listening to an episode of the Rework podcast titled Lab Week. At [00:02:23] I heard this: We three live together and we just liked trying things out and one day we needed soap. We kind of looked it up and we’re like, well, how is soap made? And did a lot of research and figured out that a lot of soap is made with animal fats. Beef fat or even pork fat. And it’s not usually obvious in the ingredient list, but there’s like sodium tallowate, which is very common in a lot of…
  • Outlook app issues
    I finally removed the Microsoft Outlook app from my phone. It still keeps freezing and getting in my way. The Outlook tech support person was kind and offered further help when I blogged and tweeted my troubles with the app in October. However, I still face this problem with the app. The frequent “performance improvements and bug fixes” in the app’s version history don’t inspire my confidence. I captured only the latest few in the following screenshot but the same note repeats for many earlier versions. I have enough demands in my life that I don’t want to spend any…
  • ✅ Wunderlist
    Microsoft is finally shutting down Wunderlist. Glad that I moved to ToDoist earlier this year. A few years ago, Microsoft acquired a calendar app called Sunrise that I loved using. I have since moved to the macOS and iOS stock Calendar apps. When you give your money or attention, think about the values and principles of the makers and avoid short-termers as much as you can.
  • Word of the day
  • Meh, Instagram
    I am looking up something in a public Instagram account and it wants me to login to continue. Not going to happen, Instagram.
  • Dark Mode = OFF
    Turned off automatic dark mode on my iPhone after seeing the following tweet. Dark mode didn’t feel right and I think that’s for the reasons explained in the blog post within the tweet. I prefer Night Shift instead. Actually, the best way to dark mode is to keep the device screen off after a certain time in the evening! Thank you @zapier for doing the research for me. I can now switch back to #lightmode feeling enlightened, and yes, a little bit smug because #Itoldyousoallalong https://t.co/PBsjJUw8BY — Valentina Thörner (@ValeDeOro) November 4, 2019
  • Today is my 15th work anniversary!
    Today I feel grateful to be able to be employed for fifteen straight years, starting my work journey from the beautiful Infosys Mysore campus which was very much under construction at that time.
  • Something is wrong with this iOS Outlook app update
    Update: I uninstalled the app, restarted the iPhone, reinstalled the app (version 4.7), set up my email accounts and disabled notifications and smart default settings that I don’t need. It is back to all good now. Technology is weird!
  • A debate between Matt M and DHH
    Recently REWORK podcast recorded and published a fascinating debate between the two people I admire and respect, Matt Mullenweg and DHH, about tech monopolies and the power of the open-source. I look forward to another show on Venture Capital and funding. Hopefully, they are able to record it sooner!
  • Weekly 5K runs
    Daylight saving time started in New Zealand last Sunday (29/September) which means, I can no longer wait to run. It is now time to lace-up and run a 5K every weekend. And that’s what I did last Saturday: I ran a 5K with a bit of nudging from my eight-year-old who also wanted to run and joined me. Like every year, I intend to run a 5K most of the weekends until come March / April when days start getting shorter. Last Saturday’s run felt effortless overall. We stopped a few times to catch up with our breath. Son was…
  • Avocado toast recipe
    One of the highlights of spring and summer for me is the onset of the avocado season. Avocado toast is an expensive eat-out but works out super cheap and easy to make at home. I like avocados for their taste, nutrients and super simple recipes. Here is the recipe I typically use.
  • Messaging app with VIP features
    It is 2019 and I wonder why there are no messaging apps that will let me choose the people from whom I wish to receive notifications. Right now, the notifications are all or none deal and I default to none. Which is better, but not best. As people start getting detached to devices and start prioritising their offline lives, I think there would be a lot of demand for a user-centred notification system. The closest I know is of the VIP feature in the iOS Mail app. But that’s not good enough. My dearest people will not email me; they…
  • (no title)
    Can’t wait to hear from my favourite author and speaker @berkun live!
  • The enemy is within
    Many years ago I read this essay titled Why overachievers go down the path of self-destruction written by Subroto Bagchi. Although I am far from being an overachiever, that post has helped me become aware of some of the mistakes driven people make. It is probably one of the earliest materials from where I learned the importance of humility, self-awareness and disassociating myself from my successes. The other reason why this article stuck to my mind for years is that I am fearful of giving in to distractions and temptations life throws at me from time to time. It is hard…
  • Automattic buys Tumblr
    Catch up on this news at WP Tavern: Automattic Acquires Tumblr, Plans to Rebuild the Backend Powered by WordPress.  
  • Stop bullying, @twitter
    Just after four days since I suspected this would happen, Twitter started pushing top Tweets on me: Is quitting Twitter the only way to stop this?
  • Turning off top Tweets on twitter.com
    The first thing I noticed with Twitter.com’s redesign is that the algorithmic timeline (aka top Tweets) is set as the default. A few days ago I wasted some time looking to change this setting in the More > Settings and privacy page. I couldn’t find it there. I then googled, but still couldn’t find the answer. I googled again today and found the solution in this Mashable post. The timeline preference setting is moved from  Settings > Account > Content to the centre-right of the home page. The bright side is that at least now it is easier to change the preference…
  • Protected: Annyeonghi gaseyo 🇰🇷
    This content is password protected.
  • Twitter’s half-truth about its app settings
    Bill Bennett, a local technology journalist I respect, tweeted a CNN Business article about Twitter’s overzealous algorithm. That article quoted a Twitter spokesperson: … We will continue to work to improve our efforts here, and people always have the option of turning off our curation if they just want to see content from the people they follow. This quote is sketchy and only half-true. The other half-truth, which this Twitter spokesperson did not say, is that although you can turn off curation, on the phone app Twitter turns it back on within a few days without your consent. The settings on…
  • I ♥️ NZ
    Reason number 1143 why I love NZ. https://twitter.com/mcspocky/status/1107674528870813697?s=21
  • Well done, New Zealand!
    #BREAKING The Civil Aviation Authority is suspending operations of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft both in and out of New Zealand. — RNZ (@radionz) March 12, 2019
  • Fibre upgrade
    After about fourteen months on 100 Mbps fibre connection, I asked to double the speed of my internet to 200 Mbps for a $15 extra per month. I will see how long I go before I get used to this new, high speed and stop appreciating it. So far so good, although I am a bit surprised at first that the upload speed did not improve.
  • Twitter is changing my timeline preferences
    Recently I wrote about how I reduced the noise on my Twitter timeline by changing the default timeline preference from top tweets to the latest tweets. Since then I noticed that from time to time my timeline preference is falling back to top tweets without my intervention. But I wasn’t totally sure because I did not think Twitter may be overriding my preferences. Today I realized it is indeed the case! As shown in the following screenshot of the iOS app on my phone, Twitter is overzealously overriding my timeline preference to what it wants me to see. Every time…
  • How to quickly add tasks to your to-do app
    The usual workflow to add tasks to any to-do app involves loosely a few steps: Find the app on the computer Open the app Find the Inbox folder Click the Add task button Type the task name Hit Enter to add task These manual steps of adding tasks are way better than not having a to-do system in the first place. But the problem with manually adding tasks is the number of steps it involves. The six steps I listed above don’t even include deciding the project of the task, priority, due date, labels et al. The basic six manual…
  • Exactly my thoughts on Cadbury chocolates
  • How to declutter your Twitter timeline
    I recently changed my Twitter iPhone app from Tweetbot 3 to the default Twitter iOS app. Twitter for iOS app is largely good. But I noticed that my Twitter timeline both in the browser and iPhone app got noisy than they should be for the fifty people I follow. This is making me spend (not waste) more time than I would like to spend on Twitter. The clutter also means the actual tweets from the people I follow, the tweets I would love to see, are buried in the noise. This made me feel like I am missing important tweets.…
  • Reblog: Short Money Rules
    I feel like I am becoming tad wiser these days by reading Morgan Housel’s Collaborative Fund blog. This list of 29 Short Money Rules is one such gem I read on this blog today. A few rules that stood out to me: 21. Being nice to people is the easiest career competitive advantage. 22. Being smarter than others is the hardest. Choose wisely! Then there is this rule that I liked: 2. Most people are afraid of looking wrong. I think not worrying too much about my ego, always being open to feedback and iteration are what makes me unafraid…
  • Hello Todoist. Goodbye Wunderlist!
    I have been looking for Wunderlist replacement since last year. I can feel Wunderlist is staling. Wunderlist’s new incarnation, Microsoft To-Do, isn’t making good progress. It lacks basic features like sub-projects et al. Given how long it’s been since Microsoft’s acquisition of Wunderlist was announced and the development progress of the To-Do app, I have no hope that To-Do will be worth the wait. Trello seemed to be a good replacement for a bit, but on looking deeper, Trello is a great project management tool, but not so much a to-do list. Sure, I can tweak Trello’s boards with checklists,…
  • Alfred workflow for managing windows in Mac
    I am constantly looking for better workflows and today I stumbled upon this useful workflow to manage the app windows in Mac using Alfred. I set it up and used a few times. I loved using it! Thanks for making and sharing it, Paweł. I am also on the lookout for better Space Manager apps and ideas. But more on that later, when I find a solution that I love.
  • Doist blog has moved to WordPress too!
    After SvN, Doist blog, aptly titled, ambition & balance has moved to WordPress too! Good times for the web!
  • Time to forgo WhatsApp
    Time to let go of WhatsApp? Almost.
  • My best buys of 2018
    Kindle Paperwhite Kettlebells NutriBullet Select
  • Signal v Noise blog is now hosted on WordPress.com
    Great to see my favourite blog move to WordPress.com!
  • This is lovely! 👌👏
    The only thing I don’t like about Signal v. Noise blog is that it is hosted on Medium. So today, while re-reading the Become A Facebook-Free Business post, I was elated to see this edit: Yay!
  • Old habits. Not new resolutions.
    Just a thought that popped up while working out the upper body in the last hour. But first some context. Last week and this week, I am finding it very hard to exercise. It is after all holiday season, and I have had excellent exercise compliance so far this year. So why not take a break for Christmas and New Year weeks? The world doesn’t stop, and the sky doesn’t fall if you miss just two weeks, has been my inner monologue! But somehow that did not feel right. I felt uncomfortable from within about not having to exercise even for a week. That’s probably…
  • Don’t fall for marketing emails
    Earlier this month I signed up for Grammarly to improve my writing. I used it for a few weeks, and it seemed like a useful app to help me write better. So I thought of upgrading to Pro but haven’t opened my wallet. Then an email appeared on 10 Nov suggesting me to upgrade for a 40% discount but only for the next 48-hours. It was tempting. But I am so used to email marketing. So I chose to wait. Then the Last chance: email came on the second day. I ignored it. The upgrade went up to its full price.…
  • No 20th anniversary iMac?
    I hate it when an Apple event happens and I don’t see any updates to the products I need. My work computer is due for a refresh. So I ordered the latest iMac anyway despite no twentieth anniversary iMac refresh.
  • Atomic Habits
    My favorite habits author James Clear’s book Atomic Habits is releasing today. I  benefited from his work over the last many years. The concept of Identity-Based Habits which I first learned from his blog has helped me in many ways especially with building and keeping my exercising habit. I like his style of writing and explaining ideas. So I bought the book as I know I not only enjoy reading it but learn a ton. If you are a regular reader of his blog like me, you may find some ideas repetitive, but I think that’s a good thing. None of…
  • It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work. Indeed.
    I am so glad I bought and read Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson’s latest book It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work. The book is a collection of succinct and insightful essays on how to work calmly and effectively. Alongside those, it teaches great lessons on leadership which ties into how Jason and DHH run their company, Basecamp. I feel lucky to have found and read book at this stage in my career. I loved the book so much that and I am keeping it as my go-to leadership handbook. The essays are quick and easy to read. I think…
  • Three foundational skills everyone needs to get ahead in life
    Over the past few years, the following foundational skills have helped me shape my career. I am not going to perfect them anytime soon but I think I don’t have to. I believe these skills takes life-long practice and I really don’t want to get done with them. I think it would be silly of me to think that someday I will master them all. I probably won’t. But by simply being aware and practicing them, I feel like I can adopt growth mindset and get better in my life and career. Focus Regardless of what I do, being indistracable and…
  • (no title)
    Feeling fired up and immensely grateful. Tad tired after an amazing week but at least I got to hangout for a few hours with two of my brothers on my way home. I will keep the 🔥 glowing.
  • (no title)
    Failing this week to eat mindfully, sleep restfully, and exercise intensely. For a good reason.
  • 3 things that are true about you (and everyone)
    Today I learned these three important things about myself (and others). You will make mistakes. You have complex intentions. You have contributed to the problem.
  • A8c GM starts in 7 days!
    Looking forward to meet many of my lovely coworkers for a week long fun, learning and general awesomeness!
  • (Video) Indistractable, Nir Eyal — The Sensible Leader
    Just watched this useful video. Being indistractable is a super power. Nir Eyal started out his Mind the Product SF 2018 presentation by sharing that in the five years since his book Hooked came out he’s kept up with everything, gathered feedback, and learned even more about the neuroscience and behavior that drives our motivations and attention. My main takeaway […] via (Video) Indistractable, Nir Eyal — The Sensible Leader  
  • Pretty much my relationship with my phone
    My phone is always on silent. I don’t even know if I have a ring tone. If someone ever needs to contact me in an emergency, I suggest they you someone else.
  • Avocado Toast
    I am not sure why I did not realize yet, but I became an appreciator of avocado toast! Glad that I realized it just before the harvest season for Hass avocados (the main variety of avocados in New Zealand), September to April. Yet another reason to look forward to spring and then summer!
  • Self care
    Lucky in this regard. I saw this post on tumblr that said “self care is creating a life you dont routinely have to escape from” and I can’t stop thinking about it — G✨ (@ganeeyahh) August 11, 2018
  • Remote Only
    Check this great guide on remote work: https://www.remoteonly.org/ In case it is not already evident, remote work is the future of work. If at all possible, don’t miss out on it!
  • Honest definition of narcissism
    “Narcissism”: inability to hide one’s self-centeredness from others. — Michael (@mmay3r) July 9, 2018 Liked this definition of narcissism. I think it’s the honest meaning of the word.
  • An important lesson
    Okay, this post is a bit late as I have been busy with other cool, important and exciting things. But I’d rather publish this post late than never because it is a good lesson and importantly, a lesson I believe and follow. Facebook is constantly urging you to share your thoughts and reactions to every life event. A couple days into its biggest challenge, Facebook’s creator is still hasn’t shared his thoughts. There’s probably a lesson in that. — Dave Pell (@davepell) March 21, 2018
  • 35
    I turned 35 today. I am happy, content and grateful for everything I have in my life. I have some habits to continue, ambitions to pursue, and dreams to realize. But right now, at this point in my life, I don’t wish my life be any different. I have enough. And what a great feeling that is!
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