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New office

Just finished unpacking into my new cubicle in the new office. It feels a lot more cramped than usual, but I’ve settled in fine. The new office is located in a pretty good location, I don’t have to leave the building to get food, lots of shopping stores, and direct access to the subway. The only drawback is that I have to spend extra money on TTC tickets/tokens now since I can’t walk from Union to here (I could, but it would take at least half an hour, and I don’t care to do that in winter :) ).
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Trading for a living

For the last few years, I’ve been interested in trading, whether stocks, indices, contracts, forex or some kind of securities. As such, I’ve taken some time here and there to learn about the basics of trading, with a focus on technical analysis. Of course fundamental analysis plays a part in trading, but in most cases I think traders rely more on technical analysis for their decision making. Personally, I think fundamental analysis plays a greater role in investing (ie, buying securities and hold it longer term for it to increase in value) rather than in trading (more short term).

With technical analysis comes the thousands of indicators and studies that one can use to identify potential buy and sell signals. Terms like MACD, RSI, Stochastics, Bollinger Bands, Moving Averages, Candlesticks and much more come up in technical analysis. This of course, usually leads to so much analysis and thinking that people end up not doing anything at all. After all, the various indicators usually send out different signals that can contradict each other. Expert traders (which I am not) can find a good combination of these and use it to their advantage depending on the situation.

A couple of days ago, I went to a free seminar that was sponsored by a company called GlobalTec Solutions, which promoted a software called 4xMadeEasy. Apparently there’s plenty of commercials on TV about this. Basically, the product is used to analyze 7 major forex pairs in a couple of different time frames (minutes, days, weeks, months etc), and shows the trend it’s going. For each time frame, you can get into more details, and see what seems to be 2 moving averages (it’s just labelled buying pressure and selling pressure on the demo) going up and down. The presenter went through some rules that are used to enter a trade, either buy or sell depending on the direction of the lines.

In short, the demo was quite interesting, but somehow I was hesitant to buy the software. A couple of reasons:
- It cost almost $3K, which I don’t have )
- Somehow seems to good to be true, and we all know what they say about things like that…
- Leverage can be a double edged sword. On the graphs, they look like smooth lines, but in between, the movement of rates could wipe out an account if you don’t have enough margin to cover the temporary loses.
- I’ve looked around the internet for research, and there’s mixed reviews about this product.
- I would like to know how many people actually fail making money using this product.
- If this software is as good as it says, why not guarantee it? Allow people to use it for free until they make what it’s worth in trades. Unless, most people don’t make the money back….

So, I stayed put and didn’t do anything with this product. I’ll keep on learning about trading until I’m ready with some capital to jump in. Some good points I’ve learnt so far, and are usually recommended by experienced traders:
- Do not trade money you can’t afford to lose.
- Do not borrow to trade )
- Use sound money/risk management techniques.
- Determine when to get out of a position before you get in.
- Use stop losses at all times.

I know I’m not an expert in these things, but I think I understand that the basics of it. Hopefully within the next year, I can find my style and combination of studies to use and trade in a market to see if it’s something I can do well. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

ps. A good place to start learning about investing is Investopedia.

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Moving to a new office

At work, we’ve just finished packing up and are moving to a new location on Monday. I went for a brief tour of the new facilities this morning, and it looked pretty good. The cubicles are smaller than what we have right now, but still the place looks awesome. It’s one huge floor, combining people from 3 places, so it’ll take quite some getting used to. I’ve got 3 PC’s to setup, so hopefully I can maximize the space available. We’ll see what happens on Monday.
A funny thing about it though, is that all the servers are going to be put in a high-security room, which requires a CPIC 3 clearance. Why is this funny? Well, most of the people who regularly need access to the servers only have CPIC 2, meaning nobody can get in to change the backup tapes :) (yes, we’re still using tape drives, not SAN‘s). Add the fact that most of the time, physical access to certain servers are needed, I foresee a reduction from a CPIC 3 to a CPIC 2 for access to that room :)
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Ways to increase traffic to your blog

I found this article about ways to increase traffic to your blog, through Lifehacker. It’s got some pretty good an interesting tips. Have a look.
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Interview coming up

I’ve got an interview tomorrow, for an Application Developer position. It’s still not a full time position, but it’s a perfect fit for what I like to do (ie. ASP.NET development). The role would be as the lead coder for an application that’s almost complete.

Right now I’m still trying to prepare for the interview (I need to bring in a piece of work that identifies my technical skills, and answer 2 major questions, which I’ve already been given). It’s quite nice to actually have time to prepare for interview questions, but on the other hand, it does put extra pressure, since I’ll be kicking myself badly should I fail to answer them properly :).

I still don’t know if I can take the position if I indeed pass the interview, since I’ll have to take parental leave in February. It would make me feel bad to take this position and then leave for a lengthy parental leave after only working for a few months. I’ll probably let the hiring manager know that beforehand, so they’d take that into consideration before hiring me. Always good to be honest upfront isn’t it ? :)

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Icewine the cheap way

Have you ever tried Icewine before? I’m not much of an alcoholic beverage drinker, but if I do get a drink or so, this would be one of my first choices. It’s sweeter than regular wine and a whole lot more expensive too ) .

Well, my story goes like this:
- I got a complimentary bottle of white wine when I stayed in a Niagara Falls hotel a couple of weeks ago.
- Totally forgot about it, and left it in the fridge, as I don’t really like wine at all.
- Saw it in the fridge and decided to see what this one tastes like.
- Found that it was sour as grapes, and was gonna throw it away.
- Just randomly thought that maybe some sugar would make the taste better.
- Added sugar, stirred and mixed it.
- Discover that it tastes very very similar to Icewine.

So, now I know how to get Icewine at a discounted price ) Maybe I’m just a novice wine drinker and don’t know what real good wine tastes like, but hey, it’s good enough for my liking.
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Microsoft releases monthly CTP

I found a couple of interesting issues within this article:
- Microsoft is using a different approach than previous OS releases. This time, they’re releasing it to the Tech community more frequently to gather feedback. I think this is a great step by Microsoft to show that they care about what users think and that they intend to take those inputs into consideration while working on this new OS. The fact that this is the “next great thing” from Microsoft, shows how customer centric Microsoft has become.

- Tools for authoring documents in XML Paper Specification (Metro). I’ve heard news about Microsoft planning on taking on Adobe in the portable document ring, this looks like the beginnings of that venture.

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Update

I’ve been away from blogging for quite a bit. Basically I’ve been swamped with work for the last couple of weeks. It’s interesting that sometimes when it’s really slow at work, nothing happens and I’m nearly bored to death, but when things get running, they tend to hit you at the same times :).

Meanwhile, I also have to keep applying for full time jobs within this place. Haven’t managed to get any interviews yet, but there are a couple more positions in the horizon that I’m applying for. We’ll see what happens next. If I don’t get any job, I’ll probably head back to Indonesia a few months after our second child is born. Don’t know if it’s worth staying in Canada anymore.

My Fantasy NBA team is set !!!. Each year we play, I never seem to get any top picks. This year was no different, I got the 12th pick out of 12 teams. What luck eh? :) Here’s my team lineup:
- Jason Kidd
- Ben Wallace
- Larry Hughes
- Caron Butler
- Joe Johnson
- Tyson Chandler
- Deron Williams
- Raef LaFrentz
- Desmond Mason
- Ricky Davis
- Primoz Brezec
- Damon Jones
- Juwan Howard
- Shaun Livingston
- Matt Harpring

Wish me luck in this year’s competition !!!

Starting to get cold in Toronto, better get my winter gear ready.

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30GB Free Webmail

Wow, space is becoming so cheap nowadays. I just found out and got a 30GB Free Webmail account from 30gigs.com. If you want an invite, leave a comment here with your email, and I’ll try send one to you. You could also try going to TechZap or some other sites to get your invites.

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Kids these days

My wife just commented on how we might need a new computer soon. My 3 year old son has been able to play a couple of simple Flash games and is starting to hang out more and more in front of the computer. It actually surprised me how fast he learned how to click, double click, click and drag stuff on the games. I guess nowadays, thanks to the vitamins and nutrition they get, kids are really super smart even at an early age.

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