FFT: Feeling good for not doing a bad thing
Friday, August 26, 2016

I had this conversation with my girlfriend recently, she was telling me about her work and how there's this bitch who hasn't been doing her work properly and she has to cover up for her all the time. (gross generalisation but let's just roll with it)

Her boss is aware of the situation so she prompted her about it and she is finally able to give some feedback about her colleague's poor work conduct. She mostly agreed with her boss's opinion without adding too much fuel to the flame, leaving out the incriminating parts that will probaly set her boss on a witch-hunt.

As she told me about it, I realized that she is actually proud that she held back; happy that she is the bigger person.

The thing is, why are we always happy when we stopped ourselves from doing a bad thing? It's like, we thought of it in the first place, just one step away from fulfilling it.

Stay with me here, I thought of this because of a book I read sometime back called, "hyperbole and a half". The book is more or less a compilation of all the posts on it's website.

Near the end of the book there's this chapter where the author explores him/herself, and found out that "I'm a shittier person than I thought I am".

One of the examples quoted loosely is when you see an annoying kid making a ruckus and just wouldn't shut up for the love of god. I would feel an urge to carass his face, violently, with a brick. Of course I wouldn't do that, not for many reasons other than the law. I would then feel "good" about myself for being the bigger man and not venting my angst upon that little devil.

Or a more random situation like, being at a sandy playground and having the urge to hurl sand at someone, just for the fun of it. I don't know why there's even such an urge but I surpressed it, then I feel good that I did not do a bad thing. But the fact that the thought even cross my mind isn't anything "good" don't you think? A proper good person shouldn't be thinking of random shit like that to do.

Which is the point of such a lengthy post, that we are all shittier than what we perceive ourselves to be*
*for most people anyway, unless you're a born saint. 

I was just amused that what the author described happened exactly in real life, and I was able to witness it from a 3rd person point of view. If it was me behaving that way, I would definitely not been able to spot it out.

In conclusion, not committing to a bad thing you've thought of isn't exactly something worth feeling good about.

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Singapore Night Festival 2016
Monday, August 22, 2016

There's an annual night festival that takes place in Town around Bras Basah area each year. I went for the first time last year with my girlfriend and it was hot and crowded as hell.

Great Bad news, it's still the same this year. Here's a shot I took last year and it looks almost the same.

The food is vastly overpriced but at least it tastes good. The route they provide is kind of weird as it takes you a long way round before getting into the heart of where all the buzz is going on. I do suggest looking at the event map before heading down though to avoid getting swept away by the insane crowd.

We queued for >1 hour for this exhibition called #showerthoughts and it was extremely underwhelming when we first entered, but the dazzling light show made it feels like the ache is barely worth it.

The last 2 days of the Night Fest is this weekend, 26 & 27 August (Fri and Sat). So if you enjoy sweating in crowded places then it's the perfect place to be in!

Jokes aside, there are really quite a lot of art exhibitions that will prove to be interesting, even though we didn't walk around THAT much this year as we're feeling pretty lazy. I think we'll probably head on down next year, just to see what's up in Singapore.

Oh and if you haven't seen light projections before, they have it too! I've seen it a couple of times and gotten pretty jaded about it I guess, but it's definitely an eye opener for any first timer!

This picture on the right is taken while inside the room of changing lights and in the right perspective it feels like you're floating in space. It may feel a little disorientating if we stay in it for too long.

"Thankfully", they only let us stay a grand total of 3 mins inside after queuing for so damn long. I would really prefer my #showers to be longer than 3 mins man.

ending it off with a pretty shot

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Text Expanders: aText for Mac
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Despite having a pretty fast typing speed (~120 wpm), I'm always looking for ways to improve the speed of how to get the ideas from my head onto the screen as fast and efficient as possible.
text expanders are awesome

Enter text expanders. It allows me to use self-defined keywords to expand whatever text I choose. A simple example would be

brb : be right back

The moment I type those letters, it will auto expand out into it's full glory. Of course you can use triggers like [tab] to prevent expansion when you don't intend it to, but for my own use I find that instant expansion fits my needs; YMMV.

The app I use for my MacOS is called aText.
I can add any thing I wish and it'll just expand out, the common uses are for things like your email, names and such. I haven't been making full use of it yet as I only started dabbling with it near the end of my school term, but with it starting soon I'm sure I'll add many new snippets to it.

Following the trend of the previous productivity post, I created a GIF to show how it works.

As you can see I can quickly generate blank templates for whatever language I'm currently coding in. I've used it for awhile and it saved me a lot of keystrokes. It also allows me to quick insert time and date in whatever format I prefer, saves me the effort of checking and typing when needed.

There are quite a few competing software for MacOS but I think aText has the best value for the function it delivers without being too complicated. As for Windows, I've only used Phrase Express and it works same way. However I find that it feels a bit clunkier, not slow per say but it doesn't feel as instant.

Which is experience I get when switching between a Mac and my Windows desktop machine, when I want to modify a behaviour that ties in deeply with the system, MacOS always does it better (probably due to it's unix nature).

Oh as a bonus there's this emoji expander you can use natively with your MacOS without extra software. It allows you to do Slack type of emoticon usage.
I have it and it's pretty cool! (even though I almost never use it)
But for those people who can't live without emoticons ๐Ÿ˜ข ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ˜„ , this is a really simple way to use them without spending too much time. Here's a GIF from the author that shows how it works.

Hope this helps in your productivity! The next post is probably a thought post WOT style. Stay tuned.

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Alfred 2 Add To Temp workflow
Monday, August 15, 2016

As someone who surfs the net every single day, there will be times where I find something interesting and want to note it down. It usually comes in the form of a link. There are many apps out there that allows you to jot down random notes really quickly, but it still requires some mouse clicks or quite a few key strokes.

Simple note taking shortcut.
With the help of Alfred* as a digital assistant, I can create small scripts that reduce the amount of actions required. I'm using the paid (powerpack) version in case you're curious.
*only for MacOS

The scripts are called "workflows" in Alfred, it's a relatively simple IFTTT (if this then that) kind of idea.
It follows the pattern of [keyword/trigger] > [action] > [result/output]

As you can see, it's really simple, and it's relatively easy to make your custom workflows too as long as you know a bit of bash, or python, etc.

"att" is just a keyword that I chose (add to temp) for appending any of my note to this temporary file; while "temp" is a keyword for opening/viewing the saved snippets. Words aren't as effective as a simple gif, so here.

Native notification to show appended text!

As you can see, it allows your snippet to be of any length, even multiline paragraphs works as expected. It is also tagged with Date/Time to make searching a little bit easier. On the topic of searching, I may add that feature to this workflow so that I can search through the notes from Alfred itself, though I'm pretty sure that the "find" function in Sublime Text will beat any kind of search algorithm I can come up with.

With this, I can add any note within 4 actions.
Copy text, open prompt, att, paste
Since I don't have a place to host the .workflow file, let me just share with you the secret sauce that makes all of this works. It's just a 1 line bash command. Formatting the date, time, then passing in the {argument} that Alfred receives then appending it all into a text file. That's it!

printf "$(date +%d-%m-%y) | $(date +%r)\n{query}\n\n" >> ~/Documents/scripts/temp.txt

Well, hope you guys like this little cheat that I've shared. I still haven't test it out in school yet but it has proven rather effective in normal use. Next post shall be on the text expander that I use to reduce the amount of repetitive typing I have to do, stay tuned!

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2016 Minimal Look
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Can you believe that the old design has been around for almost 4 years?!

Of course it has seen many many iterations, with the last major change coming in on 27/10/2013. The remaining revisions are just attempts to improve legibility and make it easier on the eyes for the readers.

I've been doing quite a lot of geeky stuffs and I'll find time to share about all the productivity stuffs I'm tinkering around with, ranging from simple text expander applications to easy OpenVPN setup on the Raspberry Pi 3, to simple Alfred 2 workflows to streamline my working habits.

those were the days

Even though it works well and loads really fast, it's definitely time for a new paint job. This current template is still very much unfinished and I will update it here and there whenever I have the time. Also, the Archives button at the bottom doesn't work right now, though I doubt there's anyone who'll dig through all the old posts.

For those who knows me IRL and saw the before and after, I'll like to know what you think of the redesign.

School is starting.

In a couple of weeks I'll be back to school and hopefully the self-studying I've been doing will pay off and it'll be easy to kick ass in class. Or it'll really be a waste of my holidays.

I've recently bought a few interesting gadgets, like the Jaybird X2, blank PBT keycaps which is a lot more durable than normal ABS types, as well as a really cheap phone for me to develop Android apps on. Probably need to control my spending this month but man I have not regretted a single purchase yet.

Well, look forward to all the geeky happiness that I'll be sharing soon.
Homage to the old design.

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The weekends
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It has been awhile since I've written about daily life. Been writing on and off on other places and I'm starting to get the feel back of doing this. Been spending most of my weekends with her these days and even though we lay around most of the time, I still look forward to these two days.

Guess what we went for?


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Admitting you have a problem is just the first step
Saturday, June 04, 2016

There are some people that I've come across the years that admit that they have a problem with some-thing. But they think that they can get away with it simply by admitting it, and that gets my nerves sometimes. Though I'll admit that I commit the same mistake from time to time. (which will sound very ironic when you're done reading this)

Let me draw an example from my not-so-short-anymore life experiences.

There's a guy A who would always be late to a meet up, and after numerous times he would say something like, "Aiya you know I got trouble coming on time one mah, you all just meet a bit later lor!" Preeeetty sure many people have came across someone like that, and it may sounds harmless at first.


It's the same as saying, I am a late bitch, deal with it. He's not going to do anything about it even though he knows that it's an issue. (let us not dive into what's counted as an issue for this post)

Another example.
Let's say girl B likes to whine about anything and everything. (imagine she's pretty so she gets away with it) Over time people get annoyed and tell her not to whine so much. From my experience, people like her will come up with a response similar to,
"But you know I don't like all these things one mah, I'm liddat one."

I'm like that.

That is the tell-tale sign of someone who will very willingly admit that he/she has a problem but would not do anything about it.

Another example, fat people.
I'm not going to lie, I do not find fat people aesthetically pleasing, it's not like I hate them or anything, but unless it's some form of illness or hereditary disease, being really fat just shows how much fuck you give about your life/health. Okay where am I going with this again...

Right, superficial. There are many people who claims they're not superficial but dislike fat/ugly people on the deep down. (a smaaaall group of people who don't care about looks) Then, there is this other group of people who will very willingly proclaim,
"I hate ugly people, I'm superficial, whatever."

I'm not saying that being superficial is a damning value to have but jeez just because you proclaim that doesn't make it totally okay. Do you guys get where I'm coming from?

Shopaholics who go crazy over shoes be like, "I know I buy a lot of shoes, but I LOVE shoes!". I mean, yeah sure but that doesn't mean that it's alright to be blowing your entire salary on some summer collection!

The point I'm trying to bring across is simple, knowing you have an issue is a wonderful first step, but it's not the only step. Bloody fix it for goodness sake.

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