Last year, when I wrote the “Happy New Year 2020” post, COVID-19 had just begun its course. Very few people in the world were aware of the full glory of the havoc it was about to wreck on the world. Looking back at that post, I just smile at how oblivious I was to what was brewing in December 2019.
2020 was brutal. My heart goes out to all families that have lost family members due to COVID-19, directly or indirectly. There have been a lot of cases where people couldn’t even stay with their families to say final goodbyes to their loved ones. Just thinking about all of it, saddens me.
In 2020, I’ve learned a lot about many things in life such as passion, being grateful, the kind of person I am, etc. On March 11th, when WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic, most companies let their employees Work From Home (WFH). Very soon, I got frustrated being cooped up in the house all day.
I am a big fan of handwritten notes. I write down a lot while reading, brain-storming ideas, working on code, working on side projects etc. Naturally, I end up going over a lot of notebooks. I have some at work and some at home. To give you an idea, at work, it takes me around 1.5-2 months to finish an entire notebook. At home, it is usually around 3-4 months. That’s approximately 8-10 notebooks per year.
My biggest problem is storage. I am not a fan of storing these notes long term, since most of the notes are only useful at the time of my brain-storming. I usually store just the pages with notes I like to hang on to and throw away the notebook. I’ve always hated doing that.
I digitize my handwritten notes every now and then to store them permanently. This system has been working out ok for me so far. I was hoping to improve this process.
My Google Chrome extension, Rearrange Tabs, hit the major milestone of 10,000 active users! I never expected this to happen and it goes without saying that I am elated.
I started the project so that I could move tabs around in the browser without having to use my mouse and to satiate my obsessive compulsiveness to arrange my tabs in a particular order. I decided to open source the code so that other users would benefit from it and maybe even build something better. To my surprise, I saw users contributing back to the project and adding new features, which was really cool. That’s the beauty of Open Source.
5.5 years later, the extension has now reached 10,000 active users. The fact that so many users actively use it and like it, makes me feel good.
Thanks to all the contributors of the project. Cheers to all of you and the extension’s userbase! 🥳 🎉
Starting a new project and not finishing it can be quite a discouraging experience. If it ends up becoming something you tend to do often, you lose the motivation to pursue new ideas and that can be bad.
How many times have you started a project and felt like you should’ve picked another one? What if you have a technique to figure out which idea/project to pick next? You should pick the one that you’re more inclined towards. But, how do you get clarity around this inclination?
It’s extremely important to have clarity on why you want to work on a project, how interested you are, and which technology you want to use. I’ve come up with a technique that I use myself for getting this clarity. It’s simple really.
PIT stands for Purpose Interest Technology. I consider these three as the key factors that provide clarity on which idea to pick next. I’ve tried this technique with a few ideas/projects now and I’m pleased to inform you that it has worked really well.
Given a range, calculating the mid is a straight forward process.
mid = (low + high) / 2;
But, there’s a problem with this line. Adding two large positive numbers can result in an overflow, if the sum is more than the max positive number.
One way to fix it is to use the following:
mid = low + ((high - low) / 2);
This’ll prevent the expression from overflowing to a negative value. I’ve read this line in random code so many times and wondered why anyone would want to write it this way instead of the simpler and more straight forward way I mentioned in the beginning of this blog. It wasn’t until I read this lovely blog post that I understood the reason behind it.
I got an email this morning, with the subject “North + Google” from North. According to the email, Google had acquired them. A quick Google search about the company pleasantly surprised me that it was Thalmic Labs. I didn’t realize Thalmic Labs changed their name to North.
I still remember getting excited when I received one of their very first few devices back when they launched and were still small. It was called Myo armband. It seemed really promising.
I played around with it for a few days and wrote a tiny application to track hand gestures and control my OS with the gestures. It was fun. Then, I got busy with other things and completely forgot about the product and the company. I knew they had potential.
I am quite happy for them and believe that Google will use North’s resources wisely. For me, personally, reading the email reminded me of how much I enjoy working on fun side projects. I am glad that hasn’t changed one bit even today!
I love Football and I play FIFA 20, especially FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), a lot. I love the game in spite of the awful patches EA Sports releases to screw up the gameplay often times.
FUT in FIFA is a fun mode where you can build your own club with players from different clubs/nations/leagues. I enjoy curating my team. I tweak around the instructions you can apply to a player and see how the player performs during a match. It’s really fun.
Here’s my current starting XI –
So far, my pack luck has been great this season. I’ve packed Leo (94 rated CL untradable), Cristiano (93 rated CL untradable), Rijkaard (90 tradable Prime Icon) and Kante (89 rated untradable). I’ve managed to pack even Salah (90 rated untradable), Mahrez (89 rated ShapeShifter untradable), Lemar (87 rated FUT Birthday untradable).
Every year, I write a Happy New Year blog post to recap my previous year. I’ve been doing this every year since the past 10 years. It sort of became a tradition. Now that we’ve entered a new decade, I thought it’d be fun to start writing a blog post to recap my previous decade. This will be my first Decade In Review blog post.
Holy cow! 2019 went by real quick. The theme I chose to go with for 2019 was Consistency. Whatever I did, I just wanted to do it consistently. Leading a disciplined life has always been something that I strived for, but, I never really put in my effort in the right direction. To lead a disciplined life, consistency is the key. Humility also adds a lot of weight to it.
I’m visiting India after 2 years and my first flight is via Dubai. It’s a 14 hour flight and I’ve decided to try something new this time. I usually like to watch movies during my flight. So, I’ve decided to do just that, except, this time, I’m planning on blogging my reviews of all the movies that I watch during the flight.
Instagram is a simple and fun application. The simplicity of the application is what led to its success. It is extremely addictive.
However, its most important feature or lack thereof, is the regram functionality. Instagram doesn’t allow users to just repost the same image from another user natively. The absence of this functionality is just wonderful. Users can definitely install third party apps that support this functionality, but, Instagram doesn’t support it natively.
As a user, your feed is usually pretty clean. There’re no non-sensical memes or random images showing up in your feed. You definitely can subscribe to them, but, you don’t see them unless you specifically subscribe to them.
Personally, I think this is great. It keeps the app very focused and clean.
A while ago, I wanted to build a data aggregation service that’d allow its users to fetch data from a set of data sources defined by them. I wanted to allow the users to configure the data fetch interval for each source. This led to the birth of the Dashboard project.
Dashboard is a data aggregating web application that provides a way to customize and display the aggregated data. It’s an open source project. The code is hosted on GitHub.
After, what seemed like a long wait, WordPress 5.3 is finally here. Right on time. Congratulations to the WordPress team. I just finished upgrading my blog to the latest version of WordPress. I’ve been waiting to try out the final version of the brand new TwentyTwenty theme that ships with the latest version of WordPress.
My blog is currently running the TwentyTwenty theme. There are a few noticeable UI glitches, but, I’m OK with them. I definitely don’t want to switch back to the old theme because of these bugs. I’m sure these will be fixed soon. I haven’t investigated these bugs yet. These could even be caused by any of the plugins I’m using.
Before continuing to read this post, I would like to clarify that this is not an in-depth review of the Series 5 (S5) nor is an actual comparison of Series 5 against a Series 4 (S4). This is more of an observation based on the specs mentioned on Apple Watch’s website.
Most of Apple’s products are amazing. I love my Apple Watch. I watch all of Apple’s product announcements with a great deal of enthusiasm. Naturally, I was really looking forward to yesterday’s Apple event. The introduction video is really impressive.
I decided to switch back to using WordPress as my blogging platform this May. At the same time, I also took the decision of removing Google Analytics (GA) from my blog. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. So, I thought I’d remove GA for a few months and see if I miss its value.
I used GA primarily to identify which posts attracted the most readers and calculate the bounce rates. After a while, I felt like I didn’t really need this information, since, I wasn’t really doing anything with it. I just wrote about things that I thought were interesting. I was never motivated by my blog’s user engagement, to write about topics I wasn’t interested in.