#Experiences

I’ve always gone through life living very frugal. Saving where I can. Whilst my friends have been living it up, going on holiday to fancy destinations, going on wine tastings, and generally just having fun.  This never really bothered me.  I never spent money on buying the next biggest television or buying a new car every year, things like that never really appealed to me. I enjoy living comfortably and that was enough for me.

A while ago I got married and my wife and I spent the most amazing week in Mauritius. Having our every whim catered to. Amazing. This really made us think. We’re constantly saving up money to buy our own house, or to replace the worn tyres on our car, or to replace a broken appliance. We never really spend money on ourselves, on experiences. Mauritius was an awakening, it showed us that life should be enjoyed.

In 2017, this will be our mission, spend more money on experiences. Sure, we will still save a lot, for other things, but we will take some time, and money, and go do something we normally would not.

Life is short, live a little. #Experiences.

#DellLove

My work laptop is a little Dell Inspirion 3537images. It’s not a high spec machine, but it gets the job done.

One of the really cool features of this laptop is the “Dell Extended Batterly Life” feature. When you leave your laptop plugged in most of the time, this functionality will only charge your battery between 50 and 100% (this usually hovers around the 80%), thus resting and protecting your battery when not in use.

I’ve had this little gem for almost 10 months now and the battery is still good as new. Yesterday afternoon after a 9 hour day, I realised I never plugged in the power cord and I used the machine to it’s full potential throughout the day.

I tweeted at @Dell to tell them about the awesome battery performance in this tweet.

I never expected any form of reply, but Dell surprised me with this.  

Pretty cool of their social media department!

Risk vs. Reward

This is a topic very close to my heart. In life you get the cowboys, the guys who rush in where Angels fear to tread. You also get the more reserved type of person, who sits back and assesses the situation before making a move.

My whole life I’ve found myself to be the second type of person. I don’t make hasty decisions and so far that attitude has paid off. Some say that being ‘safe’ makes you boring. I don’t think so. Safe != predictable. If you take the time to study your situation or decision, you will realise what it impacts, and not always what but also, whom!

Deciding to take a gap and pull in front of a speeding bus trying to overtake the slow taxi in front of you on the highway is a good example of risk versus reward. The reward obviously being that you’re no longer behind the slow moving taxi and you can continue with your journey at a faster speed, getting to your destination sooner than you would otherwise. The risky bit is not knowing whether you can speed up fast enough to avoid the bus hitting your car from behind. If you’re not the only occupant in the vehicle, you’re taking a decision on someone else’s life, not just your own.

You have to know what you’re risking in order to know if the reward is greater than the risk. Paying R5 for a lotto ticket when you could potentially win millions doesn’t sound that risky. Fixing your own electrical problems in your house, might save you some money in the short term, but how safe is that in the long term?

I see the ability to think like this, and that it comes naturally to me, as a blessing, for which I am truly grateful. This does not only keep me alive (for much longer, at least), but also, helps me be good at my job!

Time for that tinfoil hat

Being an I.T professional does have certain drawbacks, one of which is the lack of privacy. Your whole life is online. Your success is almost defined by your ‘online presence’. The more blog posts, you have written, or has been written about you, the better. Your life is basically open for all to see (or read).

I’m a very private person. I don’t like talking about my personal life. But at the same time I need my online résumé. It’s difficult to balance all the wonderful services there are on the internet, with your own personal desire to keep your life discreet from the prying eyes of the online world.

Before the Internet, a private investigator’s job could have been quite difficult. If you were looking for someone a lot of your time was spent either on the phone, or talking to people. Nowadays anyone with some Google-skills can find any information about you in a matter of seconds. Facebook is even worse, because a lot of people have no idea about configuring their privacy settings and all their info and photos are available for the whole world to see.

I  love running, and just the other day after using RunKeeper, it dawned on me, I just gave away the location of my home to anyone with access to my running route. I quickly scurried to my settings on RunKeeper and made sure that my route information remains secure and that only I can see that, no-one else.

I keep my location services switched off on my phone, I don’t want Google to know too much about me, but I’m sure they already know stuff like, what’s my favourite food, or, what deodorant I use.

On the flip side, when I research someone, for whatever reason, and I find nothing about them on the Internet, that also raises a few red flags for me. Can someone with no Internet breadcrumb trail really be trusted?

There’s a fine balance between what you want people to know about you and what you want to keep private. To me the golden rule is, if you don’t want people to see or read it, don’t put it on the Internet. That’s it, easy as that.