Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! Welcome 2014!

2013 has been pretty tough. Relocating from one country to another is never easy. The kids had to take a break for 6 months since they came in after the middle of the school year coming from an international school.

Malaysia had been our home for the past 6 years. Lots of fond memories. The laid back way of life specially on the weekends. It was harder for the kids who had already develop long term friends among school mates. But alas, life is a journey. 

Singapore is now our new home. The past 8 months just went by pretty quick. We had to adapt quickly and scramble to gear up the kids for getting into a local school. The first thing my wife did was find a good tuition teacher to adjust the kids level to the intended year (P4 and S1 respectively). We were quite relieved when the results came in! My boy got into a mainstream school and my elder girl managed to get into the express stream. Huge sigh of relief. Official school days start tomorrow. Let the adventure begin.

On a professional level, I have to adapt managing teams remotely and really switch gear from getting things done hands-on style to a more coaching style to spread the technical leadership to varying teams. Pretty challenging no doubt to be thrown far out of your comfort zone. But change is always an opportunity to take things to a different level. So bring it on.

2013 also opened our eyes to the wonders of travel. We realized the kids are in an age where they could really appreciate traveling. Its a way for them to see portions of the world and be exposed to other cultures. This is far better than buying them toys. The memories of traveling with family has more deeper staying power than material things we provide. Those memories will last their lifetimes. Added bonus, each can now carry their own carry on baggage. Gone are the days we have to haul the baby bottles and diapers and have one bag just full of stuff toys. We can travel light and that makes traveling with the family more enjoyable. :)

I have rekindled my love for photography as well. And had taken quite a few images that am pretty proud of. Its a great way to exercise the creative part of the brain and a welcome respite from the hard hitting and fast paced technology world at work. 

All in all, am thankful to God for 2013. While you learn from mistakes, its always important to count your blessing and be grateful. Everyday is a gift. Don't take it for granted. 

So I guess thats it for a new year blog post. Again happy new year! Looking towards 2014 and all the challenges and excitements it may bring! :)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Everyday Photography

Slow-Cooked-Beef-Ribs-3769 by nocs
Slow-Cooked-Beef-Ribs-3769, a photo by nocs on Flickr.

Recently I had been picking up the camera and again re-trying an old passion of taking photographs of things I like. Mostly taking shots of our kids and surrounding neighbourhoods.

In parallel my wife also is re-kindling her love for cooking. This presents awesome opportunities to photograph the new dishes as she weaves her magic around the kitchen.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

iOS 7 bit

NDA embargo is lifted. Among other things, its now rockin' base64 string encoding API. Yep, its the simple things that matter. Enjoy!

NSString *base64EncodedString = [[string dataUsingEncoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding] base64EncodedStringWithOptions:0];

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Google Cloud Endpoints.

Dabbling with Google's new cloud endpoints. Since am not using Eclipse (Intellij IDEA fanboy). It was a bit of a jar hunting game. To save you the trouble, the downloadable backend code includes dependencies on gson.jar and the gcm server jar which, wait for it... Only comes bundled with the Android SDK tools under Cloud Messaging.

Lets see how this goes.