Life Bits

Life is full of moments to capture and remember. In this category, I will capture bits of my life with words and possibly some pictures.

How to capture the Northern Lights with an entry level DSLR

My most recent trip to the Aurora Village, Ivalo was a very fruitful one. My wife and I were able to experience what we had wanted to experience – Finnish Christmas Festival, the snow, the starry nights and the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis.

Prior to taking the trip, I had been pondering over whether to get a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV or stick with my old Canon EOS Rebel T1i to capture the Northern Lights.

Lucky for my wallet, I was able to procrastinate long enough to avoid adding another three grand to our travel expenses. An entry level DSLR like the Canon EOS Rebel T1i or Canon EOS Rebel T5i is capable enough to help ordinary folks like us capture blessings from the northern skies.

If you are also chasing the Northern Lights with an entry level DSLR, here are some tips for you.

Photo of Canon 500D with photo of aurora lights at Aurora Village Ivalo

Why should programmers blog?

One of the big words on the Internet nowadays is the word ‘blog’. As a noun, this word refers to a website or web page that is updated regularly by an individual or a group, written in an informal or conversational style. What you are reading now is an example of one. As a verb, it refers to the act of adding new content to a blog.

Ever since I started this blog on 14 November 2010 on a self-hosted WordPress instance, I had never stop adding content to it.

Since then, I often came across programmers asking why they should blog. To help them get started, here are some reasons for programmers to blog.

The blind men and the elephant – A story that portrays the situation of having differing views

In life, it is inevitable that we have to interact with people who have differing views on issues that we had not encountered before. This post documents a parable, the blind men and the elephant, that describes such situations in an interesting way. I also include some of my afterthoughts to hearing this story.

A tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew – 3 quotes from LKY that inspire me in my pursuit of my career in Information Technology

Image of Mr Lee Kuan Yew - 1923 to 2015
(Photo by Tara Sosrowardoyo, National Museum of Singapore Collection.)

Singapore’s founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, breathed his last on 23rd March 2015 at 3.18 am. As a Singaporean, the demise of our founding father had spurred inspirations amid sadness in me.

Without a doubt, Mr Lee Kuan Yew had played a crucial role in Singapore’s prosperity. As my tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew, I pen some of his quotes that inspire me in my pursuit of my career in information technology.

What are the benefits that the Java Programmer and Java Developer certifications bring to me

It had been over 10 years since I got my both my Sun certified Java Programmer and Sun certified Java Developer certifications.

Along my career path, I had met studious individuals who had asked me whether they should pursue the Java Programmer and Developer certifications.

A good way for me to answer their questions will be to reflect on how the Java Programmer and Java Developer certifications had contributed towards my career in software development.

Hence, I write this post to discuss the benefits that my Java Programmer and Java Developer certifications had brought to me.

How to make your customer helpline less frustrating – insights from experiencing a really bad one

I was at a cash deposit machine with my mum to deposit cash to pay for my dad’s taxi rental. After accepting our cash notes, the machine was not able to record our deposit details nor return back our notes. After printing a receipt that indicate the error and showing a number for us to call, the screen was reverted back to its home screen, ready to service the next customer.

Luckily my mum brought her mobile phone, there are no phones anywhere near the machine for customers to call to the helpline. Dialing 11 numbers got me to connected to an answering machine. There were a few questions that I had to struggle to interpret (due to the nearby noisy market) and some options that I had to select (or not select) in order to get to a human-friendly human.