30. The start of a new chapter.

November 20, 2016 •

(The photo on the left is one of me from mid-2006. The other is mid-2016; 10 years apart. I’d like to think I haven’t been ravaged by the flow of time that much just yet. XD)

WELP. It finally happened. This time last year, I was lamenting that I’ll soon be unable to say “Yeah, I’m still in my twenties.”. Well that time finally came. 

I’m 30.

I spent some time last week reflecting on the last time I hit a new decade. When I turned 20, I was in my final year of studying Digital Media at ECU then. I was planning to head to Japan on a working holiday visa, but had no clue what I was going to do after that. So much has happened then. I spent a year in Japan, working at ski resorts and teaching English. I came home and very nearly ended up working at Interzone Games (That was a bullet dodged!) before settling on becoming a web designer/developer. After the iPhone 3G launched, I slowly gravitated towards mobile development before embracing it full-time at pixiv in 2013 and ultimately ending up at Realm.

So much water has passed under the bridge. I started the decade completely dazed and confused as to how the world worked, and now… well I’m only slightly less dazed and confused. XD Continue reading

Using Suica on iPhone when travelling to Japan

October 30, 2016 •

I love the iPhone. So much so that people have accused me of being an Apple fanboy in the past before (they’re probably right).

I also love Japan. I spent a chunk of my childhood growing up there and I now enjoy traveling back to the country whenever I can.

So during the September Apple keynote this year, you could imagine how excited how I was when Apple announced not just the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2, but that both of these devices had the necessary capabilities to have Suica loaded onto them.

What’s a Suica? Suica is a NFC-based prepaid smart card that you can use to pay for things in Japan with a simple tap of the NFC receiver. You can buy them pre-charged in Japanese train stations, and while they were originally intended for automatic paying of fares on train lines, they can now also be used to pay at vending machines, and even some types of stores.. Easily the most convenient way of paying for things when you’re over there. Continue reading

WWDC Week 2016

July 4, 2016 •

And WWDC 2016 is now officially behind us! What an absolutely crazy week it’s been.

For the third year in a row, I sadly did NOT get a ticket to WWDC (Next year Gadget! Next year.), but thanks to the nature of my work, it’s always still absolutely worth the trip out here anyway to join in on the alternative conferences happening during the week, as well as the festivities during the evening.  Continue reading

Nearly Getting Hacked

May 24, 2016 •

Earlier this evening, something somewhat disturbing, and extremely sobering happened.

I have a media PC, a small Intel NUC in my living room plugged into my TV on which I play a lot of movies/music. In order to control the NUC remotely from my laptop or desktop PC, I had TeamViewer installed on it, and always running in the background. Even though it was on, I rarely ever used it.

This evening, as I was watching a video on YouTube on my NUC, the TeamViewer ‘thanks for using the free version!’ dialog box popped up. ‘Whatever’, I thought, ‘It must have just done a system update’. And closed it.

Right after that, the TeamViewer application window itself appeared and stated ‘Tim Oliver has connected’. Immediately after that, the audio on my NUC was muted.
Continue reading

Telstra.

May 16, 2016 •

I’ve been a customer of Telstra since 2010. I originally moved from Optus. My reason for swapping was because I discovered that there were many parts of Western Australia I frequented (e.g., when I was working in North Perth, or taking a trip to the countryside), where the reception of Optus just wouldn’t reach. I moved to Telstra when I got my iPhone 4 on a contract, and I’ve had nothing but praise for the company since then…

Until now.

This is a story of how when Telstra fails at fulfilling an order, they fail spectacularly hard.

It’s a story on how an omission of a single word on a package caused a delivery to spiral out of control from a simple 3 days, into a terrible, horrifying bureaucratic mess that took more than 45 days to resolve and nearly cost me $4000.

This is what happened when I tried to order an iPhone 6s Plus from Telstra.

Continue reading

try! Swift and Japan!

March 28, 2016 •

Whew! I’m back home from Japan and settled back in. What an amazing trip that was! Before it becomes too much of a distant memory, I figured I’d write a wind-down blog post on it. :)

So late last year, I was invited by Natasha Murashev (Better known as @NatashaTheRobot) on recommendation of my colleague JP Simard, to come and present at a conference she was organizing in Japan for March of 2016. The conference, known as try! Swift was going to be a 3 day conference consisting of a stream of 25 minute talks, specializing in Swift, Apple’s new programming language but also including iOS development in general.

A trip to Japan (one of my favorite places), to hang out with iOS developers and talk about app development (one of my favourite things)? I couldn’t say ‘hell yes’ fast enough!  :D Continue reading

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