Kayaking Adventure – there’s always a first time (13 Nov 2013)

Went Kayaking with a bunch of mates last weekend. I was quite apprehensive at first but I’m glad I made the effort…had the best time! It was really tough –  4 hours of hardcore kayaking but I’d definitely do it again.

 

Current pet project – some IOS love ( 6 June 2013 )

I dual boot my personal MacBook Pro – I develop for both Windows and Mac. Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Mac world doing IOS development. Here is a screenshot of just one of the projects that’s been keeping me away from my beloved Visual Studio when I’m at home. It’s a very simple iPhone app (Android and Windows Phone coming, soon) that allows you to pay for coffee and various other things at your local cafe and restaurants. You get electronic receipts,  collect points and redeem them for free coffee/ food. No need to carry cash or your bank card. In fact, you can leave your wallet at home :-) Currently undergoing private testing and refinement with the help of the Italian restaurant/cafe in my building (I’m a regular and they love me ) :-)

Hoping to turn this into a commercial product. A few exciting things are happening in the background..watch this space :-)

BTW: I’m AngularJS and ASP.Net MVC for the web frontend. The IOS app is fully native. The backed uses both Amazon AWS, Azure and NServiceBus/ MSMQ/ SQL Server.

4 Nov 2012: YouTask.com.au – a weekend project (working prototype)

4 Nov 2012: I was stuck at home one weekend with not much to do so I decided to start a new pet project – I was inspired by a few overseas websites and decided to build YouTask.com.au - a fully functional working prototype of a website for outsourcing little chores and tasks to people living around you. It was a chance for me to to use/ test an awesome new frontend framework from Google called AngularJS. I’m using a beta version but really loving it so far – I bet this thing is gonna really take off. Can’t wait for the first official version to come out.

BTW, I’m hosting it on Amazon AWS at the moment. It’s costing me money,  so I may decide to pull it down at some stage (let’s see how we go).

                

Spotify – sliced bread for your ears!

If the iTunes music store was a revolution, then Spotify is the second resolution that was a long time coming. When friends and family ask me what Spotifyis, I usually reply by saying that “I can tell you what it is but that would be like me telling you how an Orange tastes…you have to try it to really appreciate it”.

To put it simply, Spotify is a free and completely legal music streaming service that is taking the world by storm. The free version allows you to listen to unlimited music on demand. Users are able to upgrade to a paid premium service (subscription based) that allows them to download any songs (unlimited) to their computers and phones and listen offline, just like iTunes. So, why do I like Spotify more than Apple’s iTunes store? Well, here is just a small list:

  • You do not have to pay for every song that you listen to or download. You have access to unlimited music.
  • It is very social – I can see what my all my Facebook friends are listening to (they have to share) and if I see something that looks interesting, I just need to click on it to listen to the same track….instantly!
  • Discover new music – because of the social nature Spotify, it is a wonderful way of discovering new music. Just go through your friend’s shared playlists and you may just find that you’ve suddenly acquired a taste for Opera or some weird genre of music that you’ve never heard of J
  •  You don’t have to wait for a song to finish downloading before you can listen to it. Simply click on it, and it will start playing…almost instantly!

Don’t wait…just go to http://www.spotify.com and discover it for yourself.

Some interesting facts:

  • Spotify was Started in Sweden.
  • It’s has backing from people like Sean Parker (yes, the guy who made Napster)
  • Apple has tried very hard to stop Spotify in the US but failed.
  • Quite a few Google executives have just joined Spotify, the latest being Kate Vale of Google Australia

 

Finally paid some money to GitHub

I love browsing, reading and forking (branching) code on GitHub but have been using my own Mercurial installation and Bitbucket for all of personal projects. This is simply because GitHub does not allow you to host private code repositories using their free account.

Today, I’ve finally decided to give back to GitHub for being so awesome to me – finally obtained a paid account :-) Now I’ll get to  move all of my stuff to this awesome playground I’ve grown to love.

Stress Is Not Your Enemy

“We live by the myth that stress is the enemy in our lives. The real enemy is our failure to balance stress with intermittent rest. Push the body too hard for too long — chronic stress — and the result will indeed be burnout and breakdown. But subject the body to insufficient stress, and it will weaken and atrophy

Read the full article here

 

Love this speech…lots of good lessons and reminders

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything , all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart”

- Steve Jobs

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