Sunday, December 30, 2018

Failing to spend is DEFINITELY NOT spending to fail.

The holiday season is a time to spend more money, but this holiday season my spending was a little impaired.

I was supposed to spend money on some gadgets but was somehow thwarted.

a) Creative Air SFXI

The Creative Air was supposed to be released before before 2019, but it never did. Creative instead released a non-bluetooth version called Create SFXI Air C for gamers that failed to excite me. In fact, I got buyer's remorse and cancelled my order forfeiting $20 my trouble.

Instead of buying the headphones, I went to the Popular Bookfest to test drive the system. The system performed as promised, converting a stream of sound into something that seemed like it came from multiple directions. There was a major problem with the test drive. The headphone is a $800 EMU Teak headphone that already sounded awesome even without the enhancements.

This reminded me of the those HMV days when you buy CDs by listening them to a first class sound system at the Heeren only to be sorely disappointed when you play the CD at home from your craptacular sound systems.

b) Pixel 3 XL phone

Prior to buying a Pixel 3 XL, I decided to wreck my 4-year old One Plus 2 phone by rooting it and performing horrible experiments on it until it possibly  died. So I decided to teach myself phone rooting by watching Youtube videos.

I ended up with a super phone that ran Android Pie that can last an entire day on one charge.

With a "new" phone I can postpone my Pixel 3 purchase for possibly one more year. Hopefully by then, the Pixel 4 phone would be out.

c) Ipad Pro

A new iPad Pro can give me a capacity of up to 1 Tb in size. Even I was tempted by the offer, the Apple ecosystem has become too expensive for normal users and it is time for me to leave this ecosystem completely.

It might be some time before Android tablets can offer 12 inches of screen size with 1 Tb of space. My current first generation iPad Pro should last long enough until that happens.

But, in the end,  my most significant purchase is this :

d) Mentimeter subscription for 1 year. 

I learnt about this software service when I attended  a close friend's wedding when I saw a program that could launch multiple choice questions and create real-time word clouds to excite and engage an audience. Mentimeter immediately made me feel a little insecure when I learnt that some MNCs have moved into this class of SaaS tools to engage employees better during in-house presentations.

My biggest fear has always been losing touch with all these small productivity tools after leaving the workforce, so I promised myself to restructure my training sessions with these latest tools.

Combined with a little bit of understanding of psychology and financial knowledge, Mentimeter becomes super effective tool effectively making Powerpoint an artifact of a bygone era. I have already created pages that allow an asset allocation of a portfolio to be jointly built by a crowd of investors. I have also built a simple tool to figure out the MBTI personality of a crowd.

My first trial run of Mentimeter would be this coming 3rd January 2019 when I will be polling the audience on their work lives and attitudes towards personal finance. This is going to be extremely cool because I don't have a lot of control during the outcome.

Generally, my talks fill out within moments, but readers who fail to get tickets can write to me privately at for a seat.

In the end I did spend more this holiday season because I bought a new bookshelf and populating it with the newer deluxe D&D books I picked up from the game-shop.

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