Monday, July 8, 2019

Planning for the Move to Canada, my perspective

Changing country of residence is a big decision and for moving to Canada there are so many things that need to happen as part of the application, invitation to apply and confirmation of permanent residence processes. This is all an objective process but there are subjective elements, for example the question of whether you should even move in the first place. My last post was objective, factual and process based. This will be more subjective and coloured by my own personal experience.

There was one question, personally, that drove my decision: Will moving improve the quality of life for my family?

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Moving to Canada from Barbados


I moved from Barbados to Canada on a work permit early in 2018 and subsequently became a permanent resident this year. I've had the conversation a few times with friends about the process, specifically with respect to coming from Barbados, and I wanted to share what I knew more definitively.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Scotia and Spreadsheets

I've been a Scotia Bank Barbados customer for a while and I like their AA rewards card. They are by no means perfect and my biggest gripe is the lack of a function that allows an easy export to Excel.

Getting my transactions in a spreadsheet format saves me a lot of time, I use an app/web service to budget and manually entering transactions is a pain. I could complain, and to some people I would, but I figured why not try to come up with a resolution.

So HERE is a spreadsheet that should allow you to just copy the online version of the statement and it will output a clean new sheet with the transactions.

The steps go something like this:
1. Go to the month view (not the 10 day view) in Account Activity of Scotia's Online banking.
2. Select the relevant text and copy. Should look like the image below, don't select titles of the columns just the rows.


3. Open the spreadsheet and go through the notifications.
In the below click Enable Editing.





You can view the certificate if you're so inclined to verify it was created by by bbwalcotts email and click Edit Anyway and then Click Enable Content.

4. Hit "Paste Values from Website". A new spreadsheet should appear with the tidied up values.

5. Close the conversion spreadsheet without saving it so it can be reused.

First post in a while, hope to be a bit more regular with stuff I find useful or interesting. 

So a quick one then. As you can see above I've moved over to a domain I was using for email for a while. So the blogs is not mjwalcott.blogspot.com but mw.bbwalcotts.com, which I think is a bit simpler and more personal.

Onto the purpose of creating the post! I finally tried to attach a Digital ID onto the email associated with bbwalcotts and with a little struggle you can sign Outlook emails and Excel documents with a few relatively steps (there are over 15 steps embeded in the two below).
  1.  Go here to get a free Comodo certificate but use Internet Explorer. Not Edge, not Chrome etc. IE11 (I'm on Windows 10 so I used Edge at first.). I found this tip here. Follow the instructions and the install should be fine.
  2.  Then you can install the certificate as shown here.
Whole thing should take 10 minutes with any luck and knowing that IE11 is the key to properly installing that certificate.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Logitech Media Keys for Google Play Music

Short post,

I have the Logitech K360 Keyboard and running setpoint so I can keep flip my function keys in addition to mapping the buttons on my M560 mouse. Looked into controlling the Google Play Music web app, long story short I used:
StreamKeys
and the following Setpoint Hack to enable control through the keyboard media keys while using Setpoint.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Roaming is a Nightmare

I'm going to Europe for the first time and I have mixed feelings on roaming while I'm there.

From one perspective it would be nice to still be in touch with friends and family while on the trip; and also be able to communicate with family and my wife in Europe. It would also be great because I'm a fairly 'connected' person; 

  • My fitbit won't sync while I'm away from a data source.
  • I use Evernote for doodling, making lists and generally organizing my life.
  • I teach and I've moved all my materials into the cloud to simplify access from my various devices and the locations I find myself accessing them from.

So being able to retain some access to my normal life seems like a good idea.

The challenge is three-pronged; mobile data service is sometimes questionable at best and I've never been to Europe before; I'm not entirely sure what I'm getting myself into; finally a trip across multiple countries (and including a cruise) is a lot to take into consideration.

Let me do this backwards.

The trip involves three separate land masses, six countries and a cruise. Now I didn't even know you get cell service on cruises but there is cell service at sea now. So that essentially counts as another country in terms of roaming and one where the deals are even more convoluted. So for example T-Mobile offers a global roaming plan, which is excellent and solves the majority of the headaches. The shortfall is they don't cover the cruise ships, bummer.

Now all this leads to the part where I have mixed feelings vs a smattering of thoughts. I'm going on a European vacation for the first time and for the first time I'm travelling with a decent camera. It's only a few weeks I'll be gone and there will be wifi at some ports, this is the perfect chance for me to read, see the sights, capture beautiful images and relax.

So yes. Roaming is a nightmare but it presents one of those rare opportunities to disconnect for a good reason. It would be too expensive and difficult and for all of that, the real reason for the trip could lose some of it's value. It's a nightmare I won't be having.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A letter to firefox

Dear Firefox,


The last six years have been great, do you remember that time you took 25% of the Global web browser market share for the first time? or when you first made tabbed browsing all the rage? If not for you, IE6 may have set the standard for the next generation of browsers and HTML5 would be a pipe dream. ActiveX might still seem like a reasonable technology!

You've been so good to me too, the mixture of flexibility, raw performance and consistency across windows and linux were refreshing and while I must admit to you now I've tried everything from Midori to IE9 behind your back, normally, I've always come back to you. How could I get away from your plug-ins? I loved how well ad-block worked and how I could redirect my downloads. It all was so unique and wrapped in a customizable UI.

Around the 3rd time you'd changed things up I noticed you'd put on some weight and much hadn't really improved about you, but you were still awesome compared to everything else I'd tried...then...then I tried Chrome. It grew on me and when I discovered its syncing abilities...I started to pack my things.

I lingered at the door in hopes that Firefox 4, the new you based on a new version of Gecko, would win me back but your sync falls short. Your ability to move around tabs just isn't slick enough and its really just the old you with things Chrome was giving me months before.

I'm sorry to say it but Firefox, its over between us and I hope we can still be friends. I've heard that you are looking at a more aggressive release schedule for your updates and if you do become all that you can be, then maybe we can try this again.


-A long time firefox user