2015: A Retrospective

This post is long over due. Another year has come and gone already and as per tradition, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the year that has gone by.
Year in Summary
My 2015 was a year that was mostly consumed by my work at Kinetic Cafe. At the end of 2015, I was able to launch the first commercially ready version of the Kinetic Commerce Platform. The best manifestation of the platform is the launch of ALDO’s mobile app as well as a number of in-store touch points that leverages the platform that was built. The platform was used to launch the app in both Canada and the US and did well with Black Friday as well as Boxing Day traffic on the system. We also launched a second client which is focused more on the malls. While it is a smaller launch in itself, it does represent a whole other use leveraging the same platform

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Installing Ruby on Rails on OS X with rbenv

I decided to do a full install of OS X when Yosemite came out and that included installing Ruby and Ruby on Rails on my machine again. Over the last couple of years, I’ve switched from rvm to rbenv because it is a lighter weight solution. Here are the steps that I take to install Ruby on Rails on OS X today

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Nexus 5X – Initial Review

I’ve been eagerly waiting for the Nexus 5X to replace my HTC One M8 that was getting long in the tooth. I was very excited when I finally received in on October X and have been using it as my primary phone ever since. After a few weeks of use, I figured that this would be a good time to write a review about it.
Nexus 5X Photo. Click link to go to full unboxing photo album
The summary of my thoughts on the phone is that it is a mid-range phone that is under powered for my use. Read on for more details

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Pentaho Data Integration crashing after El Capitan Update

I recently started to play around with Pentaho again for a side project at work and found that it was crashing whenever I tried to edit the database connection details. After doing a number of searches, I came across this Jira ticket in Pentaho. The gist of it is that El Capitan is not officially supported and causes Data Integration to crash. Fortunately there’s a fix out there that seems to work.

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Hardware Reflections – USB C and Wireless Charging

I’ve been debating about what new phone I want to get and I’ve had a hard time coming up with one. I know – first world problems, right? I’ve always prided myself to be someone who wouldn’t buy technology for the sake of technology. So here I am in 2015, phones for the most part are more or less commodotized. The difference between one phone to the next is going to be CPU, RAM and screen size. All of which really aren’t interesting from a consumer perspective. Sure – phones are faster. But for the general consumer, most phones are fast enough; for me, phones are fast enough. Sure, you can get bigger screen size but at some point screens are just getting too big. For me, after having an OnePlus One, I have to say that the largest size phone I want is going to be around 5”. Anything bigger is just too uncomfortable. I swiftly debated about getting a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge because it was different – the curved edge could pose to be an interesting UX paradigm. However, that’s really pushing it. If I have a hard time justifying buying a new phone, it’s even harder to justify buying a personal computing device if it’s not broken and let’s face it, MacBooks for the most part last 4 years which is forever in terms of technology.
So this led me down a different path of reflection – what would I consider interesting tech that I would invest in? If hardware is starting to become commoditized, then what would I look for in new hardware. After a long period of reflection (primarily through writing this blog), it made sense for me that consolidation of portable technology would likely be a large theme for me in terms of next technology purchases. For context, I carry a phone, tablet, lightweight computer whenever I am not at home and I find myself carrying a lot of different accessories to support these devices on the road.

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What’s in my bag – the daily version

My daily needs is geared primarily towards my commute to work and the time I spend around the office. With most of my recent roles, it’s really rare that I’m at my desk. Also, the commute on the subway is the rare time of my day where I have to myself to read, write, code and sometimes just listen to music while I doze off. Since this is a daily commute version, I wanted to carry what would be the absolute essential and nothing more as weight becomes an issue very quickly as I’ll be lugging this in my bag daily

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Commuting and my random gadgetry

I’m commuter and I started this blog post primarily to help me rationalize what’s in my bag as over the months I commute to work, my bag keeps getting heavier daily until I do a purge and begin that cycle again. For myself, I find I get this way when I’m not cognizant of what it is I’m trying to accomplish and loading up a bag with more stuff is always easy until it gets so full where it gets to the breaking point. Like many people, I’m a commuter in multiple aspects:
  • I travel to work daily on local public transit
  • I travel weekly to out of town for day trips and sometimes overnight trips
  • I travel yearly for vacation

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