StudioTax 2019 on Ubuntu

StudioTax is free tax software for Canadians. It’s pretty great to have this free way to file your taxes, but the supported operating systems are Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.. unfortunately no Linux. For security reasons, I never do work with sensitive/confidential information on the same system I use for browsing/social media/general use.. This rules out doing anything tax-related on my phone. But luckily it’s quite easy to spin up a secure Ubuntu system on any old laptop or desktop you may have lying around. Read On →

Book Recap: 2019

A year’s worth of reading and no book blog posts? Well, better late than never! In addition to my new parent selections, here are a few of the books I read this year: Team Human Douglas Rushkoff Team Human is a podcast and now a book which I read around the time of his visit to the Ottawa Writersfest. It’s well worth a read and captures the main thesis that even more technology won’t solve our problems so long as we keep treating problems as unconnected; but as humans we’re fully equipped to form communities and launch a modern renaissance that respects humanity - if only we would recognize and choose to do so. Read On →

Resources for New Parents

Having recently gone through the birth of our first child, the following were helpful resources that I felt worth documenting here: The Birth Partner “A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions” Recommended by our midwife. By far the best reference about what goes on during labour and delivery. Cribsheet “A data-driven guide to better, more relaxed parenting” Released this year, this book takes a data-driven approach to answer all kinds of choices facing parents regarding their newborn. Read On →

Douglas Rushkoff at Writersfest

Last weekend I had the pleasure of listening to Douglas Rushkoff speak at the spring edition of the Ottawa Writersfest. Rushkoff is one of my favourite thinkers and host of the Team Human podcast, as well as author of the new book Team Human. Very little prompting is needed by the host to set off intriguing ruminations from Rushkoff about technology, media and society. Rushkoff walks us through the medieval inventions of the corporation and growth-based currency (currency that has to be borrowed and paid back with interest), both of which were introduced for the purpose of suppressing the middle class so that the ruling class could preserve their wealth in an increasingly peer-to-peer marketplace environment. Read On →

"Smart" City coming to Ottawa?

I was stirred to write a blog post after stumbling across an op-ed titled “Forget about Toronto, Sidewalk Labs – build a smart neighbourhood in Ottawa instead”. I have been following Toronto’s efforts at smart city development for the past 9 months (aka the Sidewalk Labs debacle), and was alarmed to read this same group might bring their bad behaviour to Ottawa. Sidewalk Labs’ smart city in Toronto has woeful accountability (and its leaked plans are terrifying), with high profile resignations from leading tech experts. Read On →

Life Insurance Calculator

With a baby on the way later this year, it’s the first time I’ve had to contemplate taking care of a dependent (not counting pets of course). One of the duties in this regard is ensuring that your dependent will be financially supported in the event of your death. Not a pleasant topic to think about, unless maybe you are from Bhutan, but a necessary one. The main question is how much insurance do I need? Read On →

Soundtrack of 2018

Music has a curious way of permeating your life, such that years later a song can stir up forgotten memories and emotions. Each song is precious in a way that only we can fully understand. These songs formed the soundtrack of my life in 2018. Black Violin - Stereotypes (album 2015) A mix of hip hop and classical, Black Violin pushes the boundaries of each genre. I’ve actually been listening to this album for a couple years now and still not tired of it! Read On →

Advent of Code 2018

This past December I discovered the Advent of Code challenge, in which you get a different coding puzzle for each day in December leading up to Christmas. The puzzles can be solved in any programming language of your choice. I decided to solve the puzzles in Elixir, which is a newer language that I am starting to use at work. The creator of Elixir, José Valim, was solving the puzzles as well and live streaming his solutions. Read On →

Setting up Visual Studio Code for Elixir

Elixir is a programming language that I am in the process of learning, and which I use at work. This post documents the settings I am using to develop in elixir using the VSCode editor.

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Book Review: Way of the Peaceful Warrior

This month I read Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. In short, it is a story about how to live your best life. Perhaps because I had pre-internalized several of these ideas already from my own lived experience, I found the first half a slow and painful slog (also because I kind of loathed the main character, but that was mostly by design). It wasn’t until around page 100 that I settled in and felt like I was getting something out of the book. Read On →