Take My Money! (Part 2 of 2)

In my previous post, I mentioned figuring out what I want to buy early helped. In short, it let me wait longer for the right price. There is another reason why figuring it out early helps. It also means I may be able to order it for much less directly from China.

It’s surprising how many products on sale you can find for a fraction the price on AliExpress.com. AliExpress is kind of like a Chinese Amazon. You can find virtually anything there. And it’s CHEAP. The catch? You often have to wait for about a month before you get your order.

Since 2013, we have another alternative. You probably encountered it already. It’s called Wish, and it is American. Similarly to AliExpress, you can find almost anything you can think of there (and something you would never think of!). And similarly, it’s dirt cheap and takes up to a month to ship. If you use my link above, both you and I will receive money in credit.

At some point I’ll highlight some of the more useful products I found on AliExpress. So stay tuned! Oh, and feel free to share your finds in the comments section.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Take My Money! (Part 1 of 2)

Well, actually… Don’t. I’d rather keep as much of it as I can to myself, if you don’t mind. This time, I’m talking about buying stuff online.

I’ve learned one important thing about shopping online. Prices fluctuate – sometimes quite drastically. So, it seems the best strategy is to figure out what you want to buy as soon as possible. Ideally, figure out what you want to buy long before you actually need it. The sooner you figure it out, the longer you can wait for the price to drop.

Naturally, as my list of things I want to buy grows longer, I can’t keep checking Amazon every day for their price. Along come a few websites that actually help you keep track of price drops.

The first, and my personal favourite, is camelcamelcamel.com. This website offers a free service of tracking prices for you. You simply paste in a link to the product you’re interested in. You then set your target price and start tracking. You can even see how the price of the product fluctuated over time.

Another helpful service here in the UK and in some of Europe is pricespy.co.uk. PriceSpy is another free service. It tracks products for you, just like camelcamelcamel. But it also compares prices between different stores. So even if you can’t wait with your buy, PriceSpy is there to help you find the best price.

I’m sure you get the idea by now. If we use a free service to track products, we can get them when the price drops. This can actually save us a lot of money.

Away With the Boilerplate!

About a year and a half ago, I audited an Android project for a client. One of the glaring observations was that the test coverage was quite poor.

To improve the test coverage, I had to write a lot of code. A lot. Since I’ve written plenty of unit tests before, and knew I’d be writing a lot more after, I made a decision. Given how every unit test followed the same pattern, I decided to automate the process. TestIt was born. I’ve never looked back since.

TestIt is a unit test boilerplate generator for Kotlin. It analyses the code for you, finds testable code and generates a set of Given/When/Then test templates for it. All you have to do is fill in the logic of the underlying code.

The project is open sourced, so feel free to contribute to it. Maybe it will inspire you to develop a similar one for another language. If it does, let me know!

Untangling My Cables

I spent more time than I’d like to admit choosing the topic I’d share with you first.

There is a broad range of topics I’d like to cover in this blog. But A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and yada yada. So here we are. The first step.

Let’s start with something too technical. I’ll share with you a small optimisation that keeps giving me great satisfaction. I’m talking, of course, of not having to deal with tangled cables in my backpack.

As a developer, specifically a mobile developer, I end up with quite a few cables in my bag. USB to USB-C, USB-C to USB-C, earphones (I don’t always want the hassle of pairing my wireless headphones. Sometimes plugging in a cable is quicker and simpler). So, what happens is, the cables become a tangled mess. They used to, anyway. Then I discovered the magic of cable organisers.

The one I’ve used right up until the pandemic was the GiBot Cable Organiser. I cannot recommend this organiser enough. It has plenty of space for all your cables and even a portable charger. My backpack has never been tidier. I must say, using it at the office and taking out the cables I needed has drawn quite a lot of positive attention. I’ve already recommended it to a few of my colleagues.

Now, I’m not crazy about it not being more rigid. But, that does mean it’s easier to stick in the backpack, and it is really quite slim.

The BUBM Traveler Case. I have recently replaced the GiBot for another, somewhat similar organiser. Since I’ve been home from early in the pandemic, I never had the opportunity to try it out. I do like how it’s got compartments for everything, and the BUBM is rigid, unlike the GiBot. On the flip side, it also takes up more space. So I’m definitely not parting with my GiBot just yet. I got it after a lot of online research, so I expect it won’t let me down. I’ll update this post when I formed an opinion.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Introduction

Hi. My name is Eran and I’m a software consultant since I can remember myself. But this blog is not about me. It’s about something I care deeply about and want to share my experience of with you.

This blog is about how I’m endeavouring to optimise my life. Hopefully some of my experiences will apply to your life as well.

So, what do I mean by optimising my life? Quite a few things, really. I mean automating menial tasks so that I don’t have to spend time and the cognitive drain that ensues. I mean improving my experience when menial tasks are unavoidable. I also mean improving myself so that I can do things better, both at work and at home.

Now, these will be my personal experiences I’ll be sharing with you. I don’t believe there’s a one-fits-all solution to our daily problems. I’m hopeful some of my advice will be relevant to yours. If any of it is – I’ve achieved my goal.

Enjoy your read!

Want to reach out? You can find me on LinkedIn.