All posts by vyom

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My favorite Finance YouTubers

Indian economy have a bright future. It have come a long way since the Harshad Mehta times where loopholes could be use to become millionaires. The market have matured a lot since then and there are plenty of opportunity for becoming winners, if you have the discipline to follow the rules of the game.

My Finance Journey

My financial journey took a long time to start. Although I started investing in tax saver mutual funds probably since 2016, I never actually set foot in actively trading or investing. The equity market always fascinated me. But before I jumped onboard, I knew the horror stories of people loosing their entire savings in few days. So I was always keen on learning to swim before I set foot in the uncharted water. Then the covid-19 happened.

Continue reading My favorite Finance YouTubers

How to setup WordPress on Digital Ocean (2020)

With incidents such as Australian bush fire, Covid-19 Pandemic and civil unrest in many countries over one reason or the other, 2020 is basically proving to be one long nightmare. To make it worse for me, my server got hacked, majorly due to lack of proper security or a bad WordPress vulnerability (To put it in the words of Einstein, mildly, human stupidity has no limit).

So I decided to migrate the server to a new one and this time decided to invest some time in making it more secure. This guide is basically a document to setup such a server to host WordPress sites with as much security hardening as I possibly can do. 2020, bring it on!

Continue reading How to setup WordPress on Digital Ocean (2020)

Android apps for TV

Android on TV has a long way to go. There is no clear guide on which apps to use or how to use it when it comes to having the most of Android on a TV. This article is for those who want to claim their Android TV as their own!

List of apps

Amazon
CCleaner
Chrome
CPU Identifier
Firefox
Foxit PDF Reader
FTP Server
IMDB
Internet Speed Meter lite
List my apps
Google Maps
Prime Now
Prime Video
Steam

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.amazonvideo.livingroom

Convert VBA Editor to Dark Theme

So there I was, trying to find best color combination for making my VBA editor in dark theme. While I did find an open source utility on GitHub to hack the VBE.dll and then replace it in the system, I simply wanted to know a color combination that I can quickly set in the built in VBA color palette editor so that I can make the editor dark.

So I made this guide for myself to do just that, a quick 2 min will give you dark theme!

To set these, in the VBA editor, goto Tools -> Options -> Editor Format. Then refer below table to set the colors.

Now set the colors to below:

FieldForegroundBackground
Normal Text White Black
Comment Text Dark Grey Black
Keyword Text Light Green Black
Identifier Text Sky Blue Black
Bookmark Text Dark Green Black
Call Return Text Blue Black

And there, in 2 min now your VBA editor looks something like below. You can tweak it to your liking.

Final result

Spartan Poker – Using your poker face for good

Quickly, and honestly, tell me what’s the first word that you think of when I say the word, “Poker”? Is it “Gambling” or “Luck”? Whatever is that I bet you didn’t think of the word, “Skill”. Yes my friends, let me give you a Red pill and tell you that for the most part the game Poker is actually based on skill.

But how?

A big difference between poker and gambling games is when gambling you are playing against “the house.” The Casino have a huge upper hand to all their games which means in the long term you will lose.
In poker, the casino has no interest in the outcome, as they are just the facilitators, and are providing a platform for players to play against each other for a fee. One player will win at the expense of others. The rules of real money poker accord every player a statistically equal chance to win, unlike gambling.

David Sklansky, a professional poker player from America gives a thought exercise. He says to think of the game and try to loose the game. In pure gambling games, you can’t “intentionally” loose. The chances of you winning as well as loosing are about the same. “Each move has a similar chance”. That is not the case in poker. In Poker, a player’s decisions and the ability to make right call depends heavily on his winnings. Continue reading Spartan Poker – Using your poker face for good

Suzuki Gixxer – 155cc of pure love

Story of the day I bought the Gixxer

Years of wishing, months of making up my mind and weeks of planning, the day had finally arrived. A day in September 2017, when I will buy my first ever motorbike.
The day was exciting for me. I had a plan. I had a shortlist of bikes that I wanted to try. I went to a showroom of Yamaha to try Yamaha SS RR, a bike which I found to be good. Alas, it was a bit over my height and so I dropped the idea of buying it. Next I moved on to a showroom of Suzuki, where I was about to test ride Suzuki Gixxer. My friend was also with me to test ride with me and to help me find my perfect bike.
So I did a test ride. I was a bit apprehensive since I was about to test ride a completely new bike on a busy road of Delhi. But as soon as I started the bike and hear the engine road I felt an ecstasy. I throttled a bit and felt a sudden rush of air on my cheeks. I felt good. The throttle was very powerful and the bike snappy to my commands. I was happy that all went according to plan. I returned the bike back to the showroom. I knew this was a perfect bike for me. Talking over the price details, I found that they were not really ready to give any sort of discounts. So I went to another showroom of Suzuki. Continue reading Suzuki Gixxer – 155cc of pure love

How to secure your site using Lets Encrypt

If you have your own site, encrypting is something that should be mandatory. Not only does it makes your site secure against hackers/crackers but also google rank those sites higher who serve their site on https.
Here’s how you can secure your wordpress based site using certificate provide by Lets Encrypt.

Some background:

I am quoting the following direct from the Let’s Encrypt site:

To enable HTTPS on your website, you need to get a certificate (a type of file) from a Certificate Authority (CA). Let’s Encrypt is one such CA. In order to get a certificate for your website’s domain from Let’s Encrypt, you have to demonstrate control over the domain. With Let’s Encrypt, you do this using software that uses the ACME protocol, which typically runs on your web host.

If you have shell access (that is if you can connect to your host using PuTTY), you can follow the instructions provided here to install certbot.

Process:

Assuming your wordpress site runs on nginx web server on Debian 9, here’s how to do it:
Add the repository source in your sources.list:

deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian stretch-backports main

to your /etc/apt/sources.list (or add a new file with the “.list” extension to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/) Continue reading How to secure your site using Lets Encrypt

Telegram and WhatsApp

WhatsApp

If I remember correctly I was first introduced to WhatsApp as early as 2012 by one of my IRL friend. It was the thing which was “in” at the time. But it wasn’t that well known. Adoption of WhatsApp spread like wildfire since then, and now in 2018, it’s like everyone who have a smartphone have WhatsApp on their phone. Heck, even the non smartphone, like Symbian have a WhatsApp client now. What started of as a small project in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo, in Mountain View, California, soon grew to be a company worthy to be acquired by the Facebook giant in 2014. The acquisition took just US $19 billion out of Facebook’s pockets, but Zuckerberg knew it was a bargain.
The USP of WhatsApp was it’s simplicity and ad free experience. The founders promised that it will remain ad free for eternity but never promised anything about simplicity. After being bought by Facebook, WhatsApp went numerous changes which traded the simplicity to introduce features like Instagram, which was another social network app company acquired by Facebook in 2012 earlier for mere 1 billion (sounds like a steal in comparison to WhatsApp deal now, isn’t it?).

Telegram

Telegram on the other hand was developed by two Russian brothers, Nikolai and Pavel Durov who had previously founded the Russian social network VK, but had to leave the company after it was taken over by the Mail.ru Group (credit: Wikipedia). From it’s initial release in 2012, it have grown to become a great alternative to WhatsApp and currently is struggling to keep it out of grips of influential like big corporations and government scrutiny.
When I first stumbled on Telegram in October 2015, I confused it with a copy of the app WhatsApp but digging deeper I realized it offered something to the table which WhatsApp couldn’t especially after it’s acquisition by Zuckerburg. I soon began to love Telegram for what it offered and the convenience it bought with it. In those times I use to be a frequent user of IRC and use a channel to communicate most of my online friends. But Telegram changed that. Now I have almost left IRC for Telegram and use it for a lot more reasons then just communication with online friends. I use it as a pastebin, a medium to transfer files, a way to get updates on cryptocurrency and also to chat secretly, if needed.

Difference between WhatsApp and Telegram

I have tired to compare both of the social network app on features and technical factors.
[table “4” not found /]

While there are numerous things which are great on Telegram, I haven’t even mentioned that most of the security features were first added on Telegram and later came out with WhatsApp. But the most important thing is the commitment of Telegram founders which are making efforts to make it more secure and not to let big corporate giants controlling them, thereby it promises more security and privacy. For me though, the most important thing is feature and convenience and for that Telegram is perfect. No wonder more and more companies are choosing Telegram for it’s ability to connect to masses.

Netflix: A Binge Watcher’s Haven and views on Black Mirror, Stranger Things and Rick & Morty

Recently I got access to Netflix (courtesy of one of my friend) and I was propelled towards the sunshine it threw at me. I was caught off guard by the sheer content of Netflix, especially after I had used Amazon’s Prime for quite some time. While I still think Netflix’s subscription plan of Rs 800 per month is a wee too much in Indian context (compared to Rs 999 for a YEAR of Amazon Prime) we can get around that by sharing it with friends. So as of now lets talk about the shows that I watched in a month and my views about it.

Black Mirror:

I happened to start my Netflix affliction with Black Mirror and I was in for a ride. Perfect mixture of Sci Fi, thriller and a bit of horror that this show comes with, some of the episode were just simply crazy. This show is a collection of episodes totally different from each other. While it’s an anthology series, there are theories that they are somehow in a shared “not so far future” universe. The show tries to predict life as it could be, with the evolution of technology. Spoiler Alert, it’s not pretty. The show is dark and almost all episodes ends in a grim way. This show ain’t for the faint of heart and poses more questions then it answers. But it’s painfully beautiful. The Christmas special episode “White Christmas” is a pinnacle of Black Mirror at it’s finest. Needless to say, I would need to pay some of the episodes, a re-watch.

Stranger Things:

I was introduced to this show by my colleague. Yet another Netflix’s original series, the show is a good watch for taking a break from grim shows like Black Mirror, while retaining the thrill that came with it. Without delving into details, the show is a great if you can dig the 1980’s era it portrayed. It might also be nostalgic to you, for the lead characters in the show are 4 little children, best friends playing some of the classic 1980s games like D&D and taking a hike on bikes. While I didn’t play D&D, the friendship between the 4 friends portrays a chemistry, not easy to stop yourself from falling in. Add to it “monsters form the dark”, and things get spicy very quickly.

I was introduced to this show by my colleague. Yet another Netflix’s original series, the show is a good watch for taking a break from grim shows like Black Mirror, while retaining the thrill that came with it. Without delving into details, the show is a great if you can dig the 1980’s era it portrayed. It might also be nostalgic to you, for the lead characters in the show are 4 little children, best friends playing some of the classic 1980s games like D&D and taking a hike on bikes. While I didn’t play D&D, the friendship between the 4 friends portrays a chemistry, not easy to stop yourself from falling in. Add to it “monsters form the dark”, and things get spicy very quickly.

Rick and Morty:

I had my doubts when I saw first 4 episodes of this show. I started to compare it with Futurama, which I found to be very interesting and became a fan very soon. But the show started to appeal to my senses, once I got use to it. This animated show is about a boy named Morty and his grandfather Rick, who is also a scientist with crazy speech patterns and over excitement issues. Sounds a bit familiar? Back to the Future maybe? Yes. The inspiration of Rick and Morty does seems to be come from BTTF. The similarity between the name Marty and Morty isn’t just a coincidence. Rick and Morty, is a show with very dark humor, difficult to follow if you are not at certain IQ level (to digest all that is offered), and throws you for a spin with every episode. The grand scheme of things in Rick’s universe is everything and nothing at the same time. You tend to feel nothing is of consequence in one episode while the next makes you question reality. Rick and Morty is a show that can make you laugh, gives you an existential crisis, makes you care about its characters, while provide you an underlying story slowly building between episodes. One episode in season 3 especially, made me feel like I watched an entire movie in the span of 20 minutes. So I can safely say that the show did have an impact on me, provided I had to get past the initial few episodes of first season, where it felt quite intimidating.
Here is the list of shows that I have found to be interesting on Netflix (watched and planning to watch), including direct links to them for reference and documentation. Note that the links will only open if you are signed out of Netflix or if you have a working subscription. I have also written my comments on few of them.

Netflix Originals:

The End of the F***ing world
Dark
Sense 8 : It’s from the makers of Matrix. It was bound to be on my list.
Altered Carbon: It’s a Blade Runner-esque styled thriller. Slow in pace in start, but takes you on a ride to solve a murder mystery, thousands of years in the future.
The Mist
The OA
A Series of Unfortunate Events
I loved the movie version of it enough to keep this series based on the movie in my list. As a bonus, the Count Olaf is played by Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother! Whoa!
3%
Travelers : I am simple man. I see Time Travel, I add it to my list.
Marvel’s Daredevil : A blind superhero from DC comics. I need to watch this.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones : The show is very dark (should simply be termed Netflix style). Female with some super abilities and a psychological villain. This show is great.
Erased
Between
Stranger Things : Already explained above.
Gerald’s Game: (movie)

SERIES:

Breaking Bad
The IT Crowd
The 100
The Cosmos
Doctor Who
Under the Dome
Elementary
Darknet
Genius : A friend told me about this show. Couldn’t pass on series based on conflicts between scientists like Edison vs Tesla!
Black Mirror : Already explained above.
Rick and Morty : Already explained above.
Sex: My British Job
12 Monkeys
How the Universe Works : I am a sucker when it comes to things related to Cosmos!
Continuum
Ascension
Helix
Steve Jobs
Video Game Highschool
Genius of the Modern World
Very British Problems
Frequency
Edge of the Universe
It happens only in India
The Code
The most beautiful hands of Delhi
India’s Frontier Trains
India Bike Week
Mumbai Railway
What’s with Indian men
American Experience: War of the Worlds
IT Champions
I would be updating this list with synopses for the shows that I complete watching.

Setting up WordPress on Debian 9.3 x64 on a Virtual Machine on Windows 10

In this article I am documenting the exact steps that one needs to host a wordpress based site on a Debian based virtual machine (VM). I choose debian since that’s one of the preferred distro based on it’s stability and smaller footprint on resources compared to Ubuntu. But you may very well choose Ubuntu, only some steps in below documentation would differ.
This article deals with following technologies:

  1. Windows 10: The host operating system
  2. Oracle VirtualBox: The Virtual Machine software
  3. Debian 9.3 x64: The distro which we will install on the VM
  4. nginx: The web server
  5. mariadb: MySQL database solutions
  6. php: The package which installs on Debian automatically as a dependency
  7. phpMyAdmin: Administration tool for MariaDB

Continue reading Setting up WordPress on Debian 9.3 x64 on a Virtual Machine on Windows 10