Interesting discoveries #08

Less busy this month.

1. Discovering Dev Tools

Google Chrome has one of the best debugging and development tools for the web development. Learn more by trying out the tutorials here. It’s really well down.

2. The Stockdale Paradox

Haven’t heard of this paradox till my director made a brief mention of it. The paradox states that while you must have faith that you will prevail in the end you must also act in a manner where you are aware of the current situation. In times of trouble, it can seem like being in denial while confronting the reality of things.

3. Stephen Fry

This statement makes me feel like tearing:

The strange thing is, if you see me in the street and engage in conversation I will probably freeze into polite fear and smile inanely until I can get away to be on my lonely ownsome. Make of that what you will.
– See more at:

4. Optimism being just as dangerous as pessimism

There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, “Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything,” and an optimist who says, “Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyway.” Either way, nothing happens. –- Yvon Chouinard

This could go real wrong either ways. The key is not to be too extreme in either ends. Know the types but don’t bother too much with the definition for you can’t categorically decide where a person fits.

5. Grunt.js

I’m using more of Grunt.js at work and there’s been a huge gain in productivity. These grunt processes are a little troublesome to set up but once they are there they made web development so much saner.

6. Our broken web development flow

And about sane web development, Kenneth Auchenberg articulated this situation well.

I can’t agree more to that, I’m using a combination of LiveReload, Sublime Text and Grunt’s JSHint plugin to make improve web development process. It is not perfect and there’s some resistance to introducing these workflow to my colleagues at first but they’re seeing the benefits gradually.

7. Shortcat app for Mac

Shortcat’s pretty cool. Get it here. I’ll leave you with a video to look at:

What is Shortcat? from chendo on Vimeo.

8. Dash app for Mac

I’ve been using Dash for Mac. It’s basically offline documentation. It’s great for people who are on the go. How many times do you need to check on something and the internet connection is just horrible or non-existent? This is a life saver for me. It’s a free app but the paid version removes the nag screens.

How to use sudo without a password

This may sound like a bad idea in general but I do this in my testing virtual machine (VM) with Ubuntu or Debian operating systems. It makes it easier to restart servers.

First you need to edit your /etc/sudoers file through:

[code language=”bash”]visudo[/code]

In the editor, locate this:

[code language=”bash”]# Allow members of group sudo to execute any command
%sudo ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL[/code]

Change to this:

[code language=”bash”]# Allow members of group sudo to execute any command

Now you can use sudo without a password.

Microsoft Office 2013 at $99.99/year

Microsoft prices Office 2013 at $99.99 — a year. That’s quite reasonable for me.

Microsoft debuts Office 2013, a modern reimagining of Word, Excel, & more with subscription

People can choose to pay $99.99 a year for a single subscription that covers up to five users or devices, an extra 20 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage (on top of the free 7 GB of space), 60 minutes of Skype calls per month, and premium licenses that ensure households get as-they-happen software updates.

Folks can instead opt for the nonfrills, single person Office Home and Student 2013 package that costs $139.99. But this has a bunch of catches. With the one-time price option, you won’t get software updates, the additional SkyDrive space, those handy Skype calling minutes, or Outlook, Access, and Publisher. If you want Outlook, you’ll need the pricier Office Home and Business 2013 version, which costs $219.99. Source: VentureBeat

With Adobe also doing the subscription model, I am convinced this is going to be the common model in future.

Set upstream master in Git

If you wish to set tracking information for this branch you can do so with:

[code language=”bash”]git branch –set-upstream master origin/<branch>[/code]

Where could be master.

An example would be:

[code language=”bash”]git branch –set-upstream master origin/master[/code]

With this, you can just do a git pull and git push without having the branch specified.

More coding

I realized a devoid of code examples lately. I was distracted by a lot of reading lately. Reading doesn’t translate to doing something significant yet still gives me a certain sense of accomplishment. I just spent an overwhelming amount of time last week just clicking and reading through — researching as I like to call it. I achieve some additional knowledge, I guess. However, time could possibly be put into better use had I actually coded something.

So, note to self — do, don’t just read.

Oh, and write, too.

Disconnecting myself

I’m getting increasing tired of the notifications that I have in my life. The top offenders for me are Facebook, LINE, Google Talk, whatsapp and email.

I feel obliged to clear the notification icons on my desktop and phone. There are just too many ways of reaching me. And I like to experiment with new technologies that I install and sign up so many applications to connect myself even more.

I’m opting to disconnect for a while, maybe three months. No more Facebook. I have a major fatigue over notifications. I get increasingly annoyed with these distractions. The only one I cannot unplug from is email, my major chore of the day.

Stop receiving paper bills

Get sent bills? If you are discipline enough to pay your bills online every month, consider getting electronic bills instead. And why?

  1. You save on paper and do your part on conservation, making Earth a better place
  2. You no longer to open envelopes which takes up time and your bills often comes with additional advertisements that is thicker than the  bill itself
  3. You never have to feel compelled to file them because electronic bills are archived online already

So just get rid of paper bills altogether. It makes you more free since you have lesser to do. You can dedicate your time on the littles things you plan to do but didn’t, such as in my case getting a wardrobe. Doing little things an hour a day will get you closer to what you envision.

The bonus is having to deal with lesser physical items. If you still get paper bills, consider throwing away the less important ones after you paid the bill. As much as possible, file as little as possible. This reduces unnecessary worries.

Never type origin master again

The reality with most projects is I typically work with origin master only. Only 10% of my projects is doing actual branching. (Yea, there probably should be an improvement on that figure.)

Here’s how to merge origin master by default.

[code lang=”bash”]git config branch.master.remote origin
git config branch.master.merge refs/heads/master[/code]

You never have to see the following message again:

[code lang=”bash”] kahwee$ git pull
You asked me to pull without telling me which branch you
want to merge with, and ‘branch.master.merge’ in
your configuration file does not tell me, either. Please
specify which branch you want to use on the command line and
try again (e.g. ‘git pull ‘).
See git-pull(1) for details.

If you often merge with the same branch, you may want to
use something like the following in your configuration file:
[branch “master”]
remote =
merge =

See git-config(1) for details.[/code]

Singapore productivity is at 60 – 70%

Singapore’s productivity level is 60—70% of what is possible according to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Singapore’s productivity level is 60—70% of what is possible: PM Lee

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Sunday the country has a considerable way to go in its productivity drive, especially when compared with other countries which have achieved significant productivity growth.

He said Singapore’s productivity level is 60 to 70 per cent of what is possible.

Mr Lee’s remarks follow the release of the Economic Strategies Committee Report, which placed productivity as the key growth strategy for Singapore’s economy.

Well I think my productivity is 83% (my favorite random number). Now, is 60% to 70% just some arbitrary range or is it based on some metric?