Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Simple C# .ofx (Open Financial Exchange) library

I needed a quick and simple way to read the .ofx files that can be downloaded from ABSA bank. I know there are some libraries available online, but I was not in the mood to go figure out how they work, compile and then eventually come to the conclusion that it will not work for me.

So I quickly wrote a very simple C# library. It works and that is good enough for me. It does not implement the entire OFX specification and it does not allow writing these files. Read only. Smile It’s available from my GitHub repository. If you want to make changes or suggestions, feel free to do so and commit them back.

Library can be found here: GitHub Repository - christogreeff/ofx

I will try to add simple libraries to my GitHub repository from time to time. It is high time I add some code there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Google Nexus 7 initial impressions

My initial impressions in a couple of sentences. So far it is a beautiful little device to use.

What I like: The responsiveness, the display, the size and Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1.

What I think could be improved, but I'm happy with for now: Audio quality, battery life and the quality of front facing camera.

What I don't like: The US spec charger and that it has no SD card slot.

For the price of the Nexus 7, there's not really much to fault.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dear ABSA

A long, long time ago, my parents opened a Trustbank account in my name. I had my own bank account!

I was taught how to save money and to spend it wisely. If I had money in the bank, the bank would give me more money. As a little boy, I thought this was how the bank thanked me for saving my money with them. Today I know it is called interest. Today I know better.

Trustbank disappeared. ABSA was born.

Throughout high school, I saved pocket money in my bank account. My bank balance never did contain too many digits, but it was my bank account and I was proud of it.

I went on to study and I used your student account offering. In those days, money did disappear at an alarming rate - the life of a student. I always kept my account in the black. I remember an incident where you guys for some reason deducted a lot of additional money from my account each month. At first, I did not know why. Eventually I discovered you decided that I should be charged monthly managed fee. I was not happy, but it was fixed. Banks also make mistakes, right?

My career started and more funds were deposited into my account. You upgraded my account and my service fees increased, but working adults pay service fees I thought. During those first years, I bought my first brand new car. Your vehicle finance made it possible, although the rates were a little on the high side. I think I started to feel used.

Barclays bought a stake in your company. Your stationary changed slightly. You still sponsored Noot vir Noot.

I am some years older now. For the last couple of years, I have felt that my loyalty means nothing to you. I still make use of your vehicle finance. I make use of your investment offerings. I have a cheque account and a credit card.

Your service fees are really high. Another bank gave me a home loan, because you could not compete with their rates. You have wanted me to invest some of my money with more of your investment offerings, but your consultant never phoned me back.

Three months ago I stopped using your credit card. I received a credit card from another bank and their service seems to be better. I have been putting off this decision for months because it will mean the end of something that started many years ago. Maybe it is time to move on. You have changed and I do not think you care much about loyalty. The bank I grew up with does not exist anymore.

“Today, tomorrow, goodbye”

Kind regards,
Christo

P.S. You’re trending on something called Twitter.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dear Incredible Connection


I was just in one of your stores. The one in Bayside, Table View. The one close to the sea. I don’t know how this is relevant, but it popped into my head.

Anyway, I digress. I was in your store to make a purchase. You know, pur·chase [pur-chuhs] [verb (used with object) "to acquire by the payment of money or its equivalent; buy."]

Something computer related that I own broke and I need to replace it immediately. I stood around in your store, comparing the different options. There were some nice objects to acquire by the payment of money. Nobody seemed interested to help me. There were some nice young men, fooling around and laughing. They wore blue shirts. Is it blue? I am not sure. Blue-ish. They ignored me. They probably had important business to attend to.

I also own a smartphone. I Googled the options and an online store has it for cheaper! However, I need it now. Dilemma. I do not want to disturb the young men. Therefore, I left. My purchase will have to wait. Online places do free delivery nowadays. Seems like less hassle.

I also need a new notebook. I am afraid the blue-ish men in your store might be busy indefinitely, so I will not go back there.

I thought I would share this experience with you. Reading it now, I come across as being a little self-centred. On second thought, ignore this completely. You might be busy.

Kind regards,
Christo

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon Kindle Fire

The much speculated Amazon Kindle tablet was released earlier today. I must say, I should probably have waited a bit longer before ordering my Kindle. But then again, looking at the Kindle Fire my Kindle Keyboard is still what I would have bought.

I’ll wait for the reviews, but if you want the latest new toy from Amazon, buy the Kindle Fire, Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi.

The most interesting aspect of the Kindle Fire seems to be the Silk browser. Watch the short video below. It does make sense from a tablet perspective to leverage the Amazon EC2 service to speed up browsing on the device. Time will tell if it really makes such a big difference.

Silk Browser

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Recruiters and talent

From time to time I get emails from recruiters who either have my details on record or from my publicly available profile on LinkedIn. Now I don’t have a problem with them sending me the emails. It is always the content or the lack thereof that determines whether or not I click the delete button – a number of occasions the real position might have been wonderful, but the email (which is on many occasions just a copy and paste from the actual posting) did not address the true nature of the job. Many of these job emails always seem to lack the basic information that any potential job seeker need to make a decision.

There are many recruitment companies that are very good at what they do, but I wish *all* of them would read this post by Eric Lippert of Fabulous Adventures In Coding.

Information inadequacy of job postings seems to be a problem for many software developers looking for the next interesting position. I think recruiters should be made aware of this fact. And I think I will from now on be more vocal about what I expect to see in job emails/postings.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Taking the road less travelled

Sometimes making a rash decision, turns out to be quite fulfilling. I took a couple of photographs and amongst them were these 2 pictures. Taken on my way home, just outside Cape Town. I took a left turn at a certain intersection, instead of driving across, like I normally do.

Sometimes we should apply this to software development also. Try a different approach to a known solution.  It might end up being more interesting.

09

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