The Unusual Interview

In my 6 year UpWork attached freelance career I have applied to 208 jobs and been hired 43 times. But I have only been interviewed by voice or video twice by a customer. The first was a Dubai based company and the latter happened last Thursday.

My profile is generally “Not available for work” as I am always busy! How ever, an UpWork Talent Specialist recommended me to check out a job description and apply if I am free. The project was to start by December 4th and since my part time gig was coming to an end before that I just applied.

To my surprise, I was asked if I can face an interview. I took the interview as the last as I was away. Then I noticed that the interviewer was on US time zone and only then did I check the client profile which was US it self resulting a conflict (I work 30 hrs/week for a California based company). I was hoping for either European or Australian.

How ever; at the end; today I was politely informed that I was not chosen.

That was a first for me. I mean, I wouldn’t my self take the time to say they were not chosen. I would say they appear to be some really interesting guys.

Kudos for the guys at : SelectStar

Petrol Crisis

If economy is a body, petrol is its blood. Sri Lanka faced a petrol crisis recently. While it shows signs of political conspiracy it also highlights inefficiencies of the government.

The “Yahapalana” government came in to power to make a difference. In just 3 months the Central Bank bond scandal took place. The accused former CB governor is a friend of Ranil and not only did he endorse him, he also took responsibility of his actions. It seems they are corrupt as any one else.

The bond scandal removed the Ravi Karunanayake as the finance minister. He then took on the foreign ministry portfolio. Where he was removed for good following concerns regarding circumstances of purchase of a penthouse.

Then former Cricketer Arjuna Ranathunga comes under fire as the petrol pumps in the island go dry. Its good that fuel that didn’t meet the quality standards were rejected. But it appeared that there was pressure on him by ministers to release unload the tanker.

While the petrol issue is coming to an end, the disruption it caused cannot be ignored.

While it may be easy ot just point the finger at the government, I think this is why I think we need to allow the private sector to compete. I don’t mean just fuel. Private sector should be welcomed in all sectors. It is no secret they out perform governments.

Car Dream Killer Budget

It sure isn’t a good time for people on wheels or people who would like to be on wheels. The 2018 budget presented by the finance minister of Sri Lanka surely would disappoint petro-heads as well as early adopters of EVs.

So what has changed? Taxes, that is what has changed!

There will be a carbon tax based on the CC capacity of the engine for vehicles. Also duty on vehicles will also be based on the capacity of the engine.

Thinking of going electric? There is not much of a luck either! I calculated the tax for a Tesla Model 3 in Sri Lanka (if it comes here) would be an excessive of 8 million. That is crazy. For health reasons lets not talk about prices of a Tesla Model X, Tesla Model S or some thing like the a BMW i8.

Mangala is trying to make it look like the taxes are there to save the environment. But every one knows that the pathetic situations of the economy is to be blamed. God bless this country and us who live in it, that is all I have to say!

PostgreSQL 9.6 High Performance Discount

I noticed that some some reports generated in GivingFire.com are taking a little time. Curious I looked in to the matter. The query in interest was joining 5 tables 2 of which had millions of rows and others having over 100k. I was curious to if and how I could tune the performance of the query.

That is when I did some looking around for some good books to read.

I found that the book PostgreSQL 9.6 High Performance is a good book. It was priced about $42 in Amazon. I did some looking around and I noticed that Packet Publications a discounted offer for the book and another Mastering PostgreSQL. While the latter wouldn’t be much of a use to me, both to gather cost only $35.00. It would be a great bargain for some one interested in both books.

If that is you, www.packetpub.com is the place you need to look.

Linux Rolling Release Mistake

Linux rolling releases are not for every one. If you are like me, valuing stability, Debian is your best bet. I tried Antergos, an Arch Linux installer. I had issues and 2 days later I had to move back to Ubuntu.

I love Ubuntu! I marketed Ubuntu as a university student. I have never felt the need to hop linux distributions. But last Friday was an exception. Following the SSD upgrade in my work laptop I decided to try Antergos gnome version.

The installer wasn’t impressive. The UI wouldn’t let you to login to an WiFi with a password. I had to use the command line to configure the WiFi. The rest took a long time to install too. It was the longest OS installation I have handled in my whole life.

After installing, I started tweaking Gnome. Few hours and I was able to make it look really cool. Any software I installed was bleeding edge. Some were actually alpha releases.

It didn’t take long for me to experience my first bug. I managed to work around it. Just a few hours later I had the next bug. In that case I had to downgrade the lib. Guess what, rolling releases are about cutting edge! You need a separate tool to downgrade. At the end I managed to get all to work.

Then the following Monday I started working on my UpWork projects. I noticed that the UI would kind of freeze momentarily. Following some comments online I booted using XOrg which didn’t help. Then I installed NVIDIA drivers. The issue persisted.

Just few hours before 9AM West Cost time, I decided to give up and move to Ubuntu.

The installation went cream smooth and really fast. Within an hour I setup my development tools and configured for testing.

Rolling releases are not for every one. I am thinking of installing Arch (plain old Arch and not Antergos) in my secondary laptop. If stability is your concern look no further than Debian. I like Ubuntu.