Category Archives: General

The general entries.

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Macbook Pro Touchbar

I use a Dell laptop with Windows at work, but personally I use a Macbook Pro. I write code and do productivity things on the Dell laptop with Windows at work. When I am at home, I use the Macbook to do personal stuff, play games, or write code.

I think I spent fairly enough time on both machine.

Despite my work laptop is pretty good, the Macbook is always more superior on the trackpad. It’s very intuitive and very responsive.

Other than the trackpad, I do not find neither machine has any big difference to me because all of my work is done inside a browser, a terminal, and SublimeText. These applications are cross platform, so when I am on  either machine, it still feel the same. (I think probably if I am on a Linux machine, it will not make any difference to me neither.)

Lately, Apple decided to add a Touchbar to the Macbook pro. It basically took away the function keys and the Escape key.

It most likely don’t affect the people who use the Macbook for productivity stuff, such as writing a blog or taking care of their finances, but many developers are not very happy about taking away the function keys and the escape key.

I spent time on Vim and I understand the importance of the escape key. The SublimeText also use the escape key too, so I get why the developers are unhappy.

I personally try not to use the escape key because I thought that key is out of my normal typing range.

I remap my Vim escape to Ctrl-c and my SublimeText escape key to Ctrl+\. It’s not an usual keymap, but it works for me.

The reason to add a Touchbar on a “Pro” machine still confuse me, but it is OK to me because my Macbook Pro 15″ 2013 is running great. If it broke down, I will probably be looking for a Chromebook or a Microsoft surface when time comes.

Global Market

When I read WSJ*, it occasionally mentioned company trying to do business in China. Some of these companies success and some exit miserably. The companies that exiting the China market usually because of regulation imposed to them making them difficult to succeed.

However, I was wondering why every company needs to go China even when the regulations are very difficult to comply with?

The population of China is 1.3 billion. It is a very lucrative market, of course, because of the growing middle class.

If your company is located in the US, let’s say you already completely dominate the US market, you will have 318.9 million customer. The next you can go is Europe, which has 742.5 million people. If you already dominate US and Europe, the next you can go is India, which has 1.2 billion people. If you now dominate US, Europe, and India, you can next go to Africa, which has 1.1 billion people.

The world has 7.4 billion, excluding China is 6.9 billion. If your product can reach 6.9 billion, it’s a very successful product.

Of course, it’s a very utopian thinking, but my point is, why putting so much effort going into a market where its government interest is to let you in, give you unfair advantage against its local company, and kick you out afterward?

*WSJ is provided freely at work.

An Innocent Client

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This is a legal thriller I found offered by Amazon to its Prime members with a Kindle.

The main character of this book is an attorney name Joe Dillard. I felt this character became an attorney probably because he can, but he does not necessary want to be one. Dillard wanted out as an attorney because he was often assigned to represent clients that he did not like to be linked with. It’s not the hardship Dillard is dealing with, it’s more of how he wanted out with a case that could pay him well enough to get out.

The story pace is fast and it is a page turner. The characters in the book were typical and I did not find any surprises. It’s like reading a movie script.

I like the story, it’s a good read for leisure.

By the way, Scott Pratt is a independent author, so basically he has no publisher to advertise for him. I guess publishing on Kindle is a good way to go. Good job.

Olympics

Which country are you rooting for in the Olympics?

I got asked with this kind of question every time when an International event is about to happen.

I was born in Hong Kong, educated in the USA, and currently working at a Japanese company.

Which country am I rooting for?

None.

I am rooting for the athletes competing in the games. When an athlete win a gold, silver, or bronze, I am celebrating for them regardless their country of origin.

Athletes of the Olympics, let’s celebrate your hard work!

Father’s Day

It’s my second father’s day.

My son did not make a card or paint of picture of me as a father’s day gift, but yesterday in class, during music time, he took a bell from the teacher’s basket after squeezing through among other bigger kids. Once he got out from the crowd, he saw another kid who was about his same age and size but was just standing there because he could not squeezed through.

He looked at him, without second thought, and gave the bell to him, went back to the crowd and get another one for himself.

His shown of character is a much better gift to me than anything else.

speedpass+

I like mobile payment, but not many gas stations are accepting it at the pump. When I saw speedpass+ by Exxon Mobile, claiming that you can pay gas at the pump with your phone, and there is a gas station nearby accepting speedpass+, so I gave it a try.

First of all, it’s not Apple or Android or Samsung Pay. It’s an application that charge your credit card, although you can connect with your Apple Pay if you are using it on iOS devices.

Once you enter the gas station, launch the speedpass+ application, you have an option to “Pay for Fuel”.

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It will ask you which pump you are at. I was at pump 7, so I choose pump 7.

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There is a chance that the application does not pick up the gas station (due to GPS unavailability on the phone?), so it has a failsafe option, which is to scan the QR code on the pump.

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The process was fast and easy. Once I select the pump, the payment goes through with the credit card that I registered with. The app will tell you that you have 30 seconds to start putting fuel into your car. (I missed on my first try because there was no indication on the pump that says read to pump.)

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That’s it. It’s how easy it was. I did not have to pull out my wallet, insert the credit card, put in my zip code. Once finish, a receipt is sent to the phone.

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Something I hope speedpass+ can improve on:

  1. The app is location aware so that when I pull into the gas station, the app will send a notification so I don’t have to search for the app.
  2. A better indication about the pump is ready to use after payment is accepted.

In conclusion, I like what I can do with the speedpass+. It’s a step forward.