A Firing

I was hooked by the documentary series: Chef’s table. Each episode is about a famous chef. What hooked me was how human each of them was. They are not famous by default. Everyone of them had their struggles. Each of their journey to the zenith was hard. Perhaps it is cultural. We are taught to portray ourselves as successful, taught to hide our own imperfections. If Chef’s table is angled to show how good the chef was, how talented they are, I wonder, would the viewer relate personally to the chef? It is because they are imperfect and everyone is, that they connect.

Likewise, I am hardly perfect. I’d like to share a story of one of my failures. I’m seeing some of the people around me making the same mistakes. In my naive thinking, my stories might prevent the reader from falling in the same pothole. We should learn to celebrate failures. What failure is worse than being fired?

How Does FreedomVPN Work

I just watched the Champion’s League Final streamed live on my laptop. I watched it on PPTV in Singapore. This is made possible by FreedomVPN(Which amazingly, does not have a landing page of its own where I can link to). Recently, I switched my ISP(Internet Service Provider) to Viewqwest. This far, so good. Their product FreedomVPN, has opened the door to enjoying Internet TV from most of the popular content sites of the world. To many, it is like voodoo. Let me try to explain in broad strokes how they did it. Disclaimer: these are my conjectures and has not been validated with Viewqwest.

How to Set Up a Remote VPN Using Sophos UTM

My office has a Sophos UTM. It acts as a firewall for the office network. We also use it as a VPN server. It allows us to access the machines in the office network. More importantly, it allows remote users to access the servers. Our servers have access restricted to a white listed list of IP addresses. This way, we only open up the white list to the office network. This allows our people to work from anywhere. We don’t have to keep updating the white list of IP addresses. When I tried setting it up, I could not find articles documenting how to do it. Hopefully it will point you in the right direction.

The Tyranny of Billing

Billing is a critical function of any business. It is more than just collection of money. What better way than to tell a story.

How to Deploy a Standalone Server App

This post shares my experiences deploying a standalone application on a remote Linux server. By standalone application, I mean that the application is packaged as a single file. It could be a jar file or an executable packaged from Java/Scala/C/Haskell/etc. In my case, it was a jar file. My server is Ubuntu 14.04. My automation tool is Ansible and a dash of shell scripts. The process is very much influenced by Capistrano, a tool that is very popular for deploying Ruby web applications. There are three aims. One, I want to deploy in one step. Two, I want to version my deployment. Three, it should cater for easy rolling back.

The Randomness Idea Filter

I use this filter to decide whether a product or feature is worth pursuing. I call it the randomness idea filter. How badly is this product or feature affected by randomness?

Entering the Logistics Industry

Early this year, I joined a logistics company. I’ve been working in technology for the whole of my professional life. This was a welcomed change. I was eager to see how different a conventional industry, such as Logistics, is like. The company is Courex. It does ecommerce logistics in Singapore.

How to Configure WebDAV Using Apache on Ubuntu

WebDAV is an extension of the HTTP protocol that allows users to manage files on servers. There are many ways to manage files on a remote server. WebDAV has several benefits over other solutions such as FTP or Samba). In this article, we will go through how to configure your Apache server on Ubuntu 14.04 to allow native WebDAV access from Windows, Mac and Linux with authentication.