An Automatic Deployment

I just setup automatic deployment of my website on commit to Github. This is just to see if everything works.

Follow the build here

A Flight Diary

Aeroplanes were always an interesting thing. I remember the times when I would eagerly wait for the train I'm in pass next to the Cochin airport after the Angamali railway station. Oh, I've gone through that train route so many times. Looking at the planes in the distance. I did catch a glimpse of a take off or landing once or twice.

I've been on so many journeys on train. I still remember the 2 day trip from Thrissur to Delhi on the Kerala Express. And my train trips to Hyderabad or Bhubaneswar or Aurangabad. I've had so many bus trips as well. Day trips from one end of Kerala to other. 18 hour long trips to Hyderabad. But not on a plane - until 2010.

My first trip in an aeroplane was from Hyderabad to Coimbatore - just six years back. 2010 April 1st. On a Spicejet Bombardier Q400 (if I remember correctly)1 with the flight number SG237. I still remember my excitement for that flight. The take-off, the landing.

Hyderabad - then the new Rajiv Gandhi International Airport - maybe a year old. The excitement of seeing an airport from the inside. I guess it started when taking the AeroExpress bus from my office to the airport. Coimbatore - at the time, very small when compared to Hyderabad. The goosebumps I felt throughout the journey is still so clear in my memory.

Fast forward to now, I have now flown so many air "miles" that all this is just a regular thing now. After my first trip, I made flying my way to get home. Including the 40-minute-before-flight and security check and the 4 hour train ride after that, I could reach home in about 6-7 hours. Much less than the 24 hour Sabari express train journey (in the middle of the day!) or the 18 hour bus ride.

After that first trip, I flew to Cochin or Coimbatore (and back - 90% of the time) 20 times in the next 5 years. I took a total of 118 flights till date. Have been through 28 different airports. Even though everything about a flight is just regular - I still get excited about the take-off and landing. Or when the plane makes a pass over the airport runways. Another exciting thing nowadays is the front facing camera that they put in the long distance flights. Those things just make the experience much more awesome.

I decided to make a diary of all my journeys up in the air.

Here is a visualization of that.

It is still a Work-In-Progress. I plan to add more details to it. More statistics, etc.

Read more about my progress with this pet project of mine here. Flight Diary Project

  1. Nope. It was not a Bombardier Q400. Looks like Spicejet got its first batch for Bombardier Q400 after my first flight.  

Interest Comparison

One of the "resolutions" I took this year was to get my finances right. And to manage them in a better way. I wanted to put some of my savings money to work in generating some income. The US savings rate gives a maximum APY of 1%.

Since I have access to the Indian banking system as an NRI, I was checking things in that direction. Indian market is riskier as compared to the US market. The banks are giving higher returns for our money. A fixed deposit (the Indian equivalent of a US CD, Certificate of Deposit ) gives an interest rate of 7.5% in most banks. This is quite good to park the money and let grow.

But, there are still other factors to take into consideration. The currency exchange rate of INR against USD might change significantly. Over the last 10 years, the value changed by over 30 Rs. I wanted to see if the interest I receive in Comparison can beat the currency fluctuation.

I made a quick tool to do a comparison of the interests. I also put in comparisons to what the value would be if the currency fluctuated. This gives a good overview of how much the currency fluctuation and the interest rates can affect the final balance that remains.

From a quick check of the results I get, there is a reasonably good chance that I can beat the currency change and make a profit - more than what I would get in US. But the exchange rate could go up and reduce my returns as well. But isn't that how a risky investment always works.

Follow my updates to this tool on my projects page.

Time to Ship

I started to learn a few things after I started this blog. I intend to convert those into some projects that I use.

Here are some things that I intend to create this year. Things that I intend to use as well.

  1. A Personal Finance Manager

    • Primary idea is to be that app which can help track my finances (expenses, deposits, investments, etc)
    • I ragequit from Mint and Personal Capital when one of the accounts stopped working. So maybe as a replacement for that
    • Fully Manual - maybe some statement parsing
    • Android Mobile app maybe? Maybe on wear too? (Duh! Big plans!)
  2. GTD Helper

    • I have a small GTD setup, maybe make it computerized.
    • Maybe Mobile too?
  3. Social Manager

    • I call it a social "Manager". Has to manage all my social networks the way I want it.
    • Preferably all in one place.
    • The other apps I use just don't fit the bill. Why not just make one myself.

I plan to do a basic version of these for 2016. Follow my progress on the projects page. Lets see where these things reach. Wish me luck.

A new Blog

It's Jonas, the snowstorm here. Or Snowzilla or Snowmageddon or whatever!

I decided to get some things going. Things that have been in my 'to-do' list for a while.

It's time to just do it. Let's see what all I can 'ship' during this Storm. #ShipDuringJonas

So, here we go.